1. not penetrable; that cannot be penetrated, pierced, entered, etc.
  2. inaccessible to ideas, influences, etc.
  3. incapable of being understood; inscrutable; unfathomable: an impenetrable mystery.
  4. Physics. possessing impenetrability.


  1. incapable of being pierced through or penetratedan impenetrable forest
  2. incapable of being understood; incomprehensibleimpenetrable jargon
  3. incapable of being seen throughimpenetrable gloom
  4. not susceptible to ideas, influence, etcimpenetrable ignorance
  5. physics (of a body) incapable of occupying the same space as another body

mid-15c., from Middle French impenetrable, from Latin impenetrabilis “that cannot be penetrated,” from assimilated form of in- “not, opposite of” (see in- (1)) + penetrabilis “penetrable” (see penetrate). Related: Impenetrably; impenetrability.

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