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Mar 22, 2013
This week's theme
Contranyms

This week's words
secrete
peruse
second-guess
discursive
impregnable

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

impregnable

PRONUNCIATION:
(im-PREG-nuh-buhl)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Incapable of being taken by force; strong enough to withstand attack.
2. Capable of being impregnated.

ETYMOLOGY:
For 1: From Old French imprenable, from in- (not) + prenable (vulnerable to capture), from prendre (to take, seize). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ghend-/ghed- (to seize, take), which is also the source of pry, prey, spree, reprise, surprise, pregnant, osprey, prison, and get. Earliest documented use: 1430.
For 2: From Latin impraegnaere (to fertilize, impregnate). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gen- (to give birth), which also gave birth to words such as generate, engine, indigenous, and germ.

USAGE:
"Mr Netanyahu, who seemed electorally impregnable, may suddenly look vulnerable."
Nerves are Jangling Again; The Economist (London, UK); Nov 17, 2012.

"She lived in daily dread of pregnancy. She was sure she broke all records as the world's most easily impregnable female."
Vera Buch Weisbord; A Radical Life; Indiana University Press; 1977.

See more usage examples of impregnable in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It has been said that a pretty face is a passport. But it's not, it's a visa, and it runs out fast. -Julie Burchill, writer and journalist (b. 1959)

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