The Meaning of Impeccable: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what the word impeccable means? This article will provide you with all of the knowledge you need on the word impeccable, including its meaning, origin, usage, synonyms, antonyms, example sentences, and more!

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What is the definition of impeccable?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and other dictionary apps, the word impeccable, pronounced “ɪmˈpɛkəbəl” is an adjective that means free from fault or blame, or incapable of sinning, though in the modern day it is most commonly used to mean the former. 

The word impeccable can be used to describe a great many different things and is no longer reserved for describing things that are free from sin. Someone could say that someone has impeccable manners, impeccable taste, or impeccable character, or that a house is impeccably clean. The word has taken on a much broader definition in the modern day.

THere are many other languages that use the word impeccable. Some of these, like romance languages, have the same Latin roots as the English word impeccable, while others do not. Some of these words look very similar to the word impeccable because they share those common roots. Below is a list or translations for the word impeccable from Word Sense.

  • Mandarin: 無瑕‎, 無懈可擊‎
  • Arabic: لا تشوبه شائبة
  • Urdu: معصُوم‎ (masoom), بے عیب‎ (bay aib)
  • French: impeccable‎
  • Swedish: fläckfri‎, oantastlig‎
  • Dutch: onberispelijk‎
  • German: makellos‎, einwandfrei‎, tadellos‎
  • Finnish: virheetön‎
  • Slovene: brezhiben‎ (masc.), popoln‎ (masc.)
  • Spanish: impecable
  • Greek: άψογος‎ (masc.), τέλειος‎ (masc.)
  • Icelandic: lýtalaus‎
  • Russian: безупре́чный‎, безукори́зненный‎
  • Catalan: impecable‎ (masc.) (fem.)
  • Portuguese: impecável

What is the etymology of the word impeccable?

According to Etymonline, the word impeccable has been in use in the English language since the 1530s to mean incapable of sin. This comes from the French impeccable, which has been used since the 15th century. This might also come directly from the Late Latin impeccabilis meaning not liable to sin. This was formed from the prefix in, meaning not, and the root peccare meaning to sin. This word has been used to mean faultless since the 1610s, and related words include impeccably, impeccant, impeccability, and impeccancy.

The root word peccare also has other descendents in the English language. There is peccadillo, which means a slight offense as well as peccant, which means guilty or faulty. There is also peccavi, which means an acknowledgement of sin. This was taken directly from Latin where it means “I have sinned.”

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word impeccable?

There are many different words that someone could use in place of the word impeccable. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Someone might choose to use a synonym because they want to expand their vocabulary, or because they want to avoid repeating themselves. The below list of synonyms for the word impeccable is from Thesaurus. 

  • unblemished
  • correct
  • precise
  • unflawed
  • perfect
  • stainless
  • accurate
  • faultless
  • flawless
  • aces
  • innocent
  • fleckless
  • apple-pie
  • on target
  • unimpeachable
  • exact
  • clean
  • A-okay
  • sinless
  • irreproachable
  • right
  • incorrupt
  • unerring
  • infallible
  • immaculate
  • exquisite
  • pure
  • errorless
  • ten
  • note-perfect
  • nice

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of impeccable. Looking at a list of antonyms is very useful if your instinct is to add a negative prefix onto the beginning of words. The below list of antonyms is also from Thesaurus

  • injured
  • unfinished
  • unsound
  • flawed
  • vicious
  • few bugs
  • defective
  • lemon
  • undeveloped
  • sketchy
  • schlocky
  • inexact
  • junk
  • damaged
  • impaired
  • dud
  • faulty
  • disfigured
  • broken
  • imperfect
  • low
  • immature
  • bottom-of-barrel
  • rudimentary
  • limited
  • amiss
  • patchy
  • deficient
  • sick
  • below par
  • partial
  • marred
  • two-bit
  • minus
  • warped
  • incomplete
  • garbage

How can the word impeccable be used in a sentence?

The word impeccable is very common and can be used in a plethora of different sentences and contexts. The word impeccable is considered polte, so one does not need to worry about it being too casual to use in certain contexts. Below are a couple of examples of sentences in which the word impeccable is used to mean flawless. In this first example, June’s art teacher is evaluating her final project.

June: What do you think?

Art Teacher: Honestly June, it’s impeccable. I’m so impressed with this work. Are you sure you don’t plan to study art in college?

June: I just don’t think it’s lucrative. My parents don’t want me to.

Art Teacher: June, anything can be lucrative. Freelance illustrators and animators can be successful, too. Just because it’s not a 9 to 5 doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. The world needs art. With work like this, I think you could even get a full ride to an art school.

Here, June’s art teacher uses the word impeccable to describe the quality of her final project. The art teacher cannot find a flaw with her project, and therefore describes it as impeccable. In this next example, June’s mother uses the word impeccable to describe her room.

June’s Mom: June, thi solace is a pigsty. There are paints and clay and pencils all over the place. Clean this place up.

June: Mom, I’m using it all. It’s a multimedia project.

June’s Mom: Well when you’re finished with this “project,” I want this place to look impeccable. If I don’t hear that vacuum going, you’re going to get an earful. 

June: Okay, okay. I will, Just as soon as I finish.

Overall, the word impeccable means flawless or free from sin. While it was initially used strictly to mean free from sin or sinless, in the modern day, it has taken on a much broader definition. Nowadays, the adjective impeccable can be used to describe a great many things and people that are without flaw, from objects to characteristics. This is a very common word in the English language.

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/impeccable
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/imperfect
  3. https://www.etymonline.com/word/impeccable
  4. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impeccable https://www.wordsense.eu/impeccable/#English