Word of the Day

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


\in-EK-sur-uh-bul; in-EKS-ruh-bul\ , adjective;
Not to be persuaded or moved by entreaty or prayer; firm; determined; unyielding; unchangeable; inflexible; relentless.
But the idea of providence, whether the biblical version or the Enlightenment's or Marx's, is at bottom a tragic notion, for it implies that individual human choices count for nothing against the weight of an inexorable, overwhelming force, whether benign or cruel, whether known as God, History, Destiny, Progress or DNA.
-- James Carrol, "Laughing Our Way to Defeat", New York Times, February 16, 1986
. . .such notions as the 'logic of the facts', or the 'march of history', which, like the laws of nature (with which they are partly identified), are thought of as, in some sense, 'inexorable', likely to take their course whatever human beings may wish or pray for, an inevitable process to which individuals must adjust themselves.
-- Isaiah Berlin, The Sense of Reality
Confronted again with pictures of flag-draped coffins and mutilated bodies, with the sounds of random gunfire and angry chants, the world had to readjust to the fact that not every problem is solvable, that the global tide of peace is not inexorable, and that progress does not inevitably make civilizations more civilized.
-- "Fires Of Hate", Time, October 23, 2000
Inexorable comes from Latin inexorabilis, from in-, "not" + exorabilis, "able to be entreated, placable," from exorare, "to entreat successfully, to prevail upon," from ex-, intensive prefix + orare, "to speak; to argue; to pray."
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