impassive


impassive
impassive, stoic, phlegmatic, apathetic, stolid are comparable when they mean slightly if at all responsive to something that might be expected to excite emotion or interest or to produce a sensation.
The distinctions to be drawn between these adjectives hold true also of their corresponding nouns, impassivity or impassiveness, stoicism, phlegm, apathy, stolidity.
One is impassive who feels or shows no emotion or sensation, without necessary implication of insusceptibility
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his majestic impassivity contrasting with the overt astonishment with which a row of savagely ugly attendant chiefs grinned and gaped— Shaw

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under their impassive exterior they preserve ... emotions of burning intensity— Lathrop

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One is stoic who is in-different to pleasure or pain; the word frequently suggests unflinching fortitude
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not only the cataclysm of a world, but also the stoic and indomitable temper that endures it— Lowes

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a stoic atmosphere of fortitude in adversity— Orville Prescott

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Phlegmatic implies a temperament or constitution in which emotion is hard to arouse or, when aroused, is moderate or restrained
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cold and phlegmatic must he be who is not warmed into admiration by the surrounding scenery— Waterton

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a lofty phlegm, a detachment in the midst of action, a capacity for watching in silence— Edmund Wilson

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Apathetic usually implies either a remiss and culpable indifference or such a preoccupation with a particular depressing emotion (as care, grief, or despair) or bodily pain as makes one insensible to other emotion or pain and deficient in or devoid of the usual human interests
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there is only one alarming aspect of our national debt . . . the apathy and ignorance of the American public with regard to it. The common attitude is . . .: why should an ordinary citizen add the national debt to his other workaday worries— Scherman

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the row of stolid, dull, vacant plowboys, ungainly in build, uncomely in face, lifeless, apatheticButler d. 1902

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an uncomplaining apathy displaced this anguish; and, indifferent to delight, to aim and purpose, he consumed his days, to private interest dead, and public care— Wordsworth

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Stolid implies heavy, dull, obtuse impassivity or apathy or utter blankness of countenance mirroring or suggesting such quality; often, specifically, it suggests impassive, mechanical, plodding, unquestioning, unresourceful adherence to routine
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stolid Saxon rustics, in whom the temperature of religious zeal was little . . . above absolute zeroHuxley

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the stolidest mask ever given to man— Meredith

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Analogous words: *cool, composed, collected, imperturbable: reserved, taciturn, *silent, reticent: callous, *hardened, indurated: insensible, insensitive
Antonyms: responsive
Contrasted words: *tender, compassionate, sympathetic, warm, warmhearted

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Impassive — Im*pas sive, a. Not susceptible of pain or suffering; apathetic; impassible; unmoved. [1913 Webster] Impassive as the marble in the quarry. De Quincey. [1913 Webster] On the impassive ice the lightings play. Pope. {Im*pas sive*ly}, adv. {Im*pas… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • impassive — [im pas′iv] adj. [< IN 2 + PASSIVE] 1. not feeling pain; not liable to suffering; insensible 2. not feeling or showing emotion; placid; calm impassively [im΄pə siv′ə tē] adv. impassivity [im΄pa siv′i tē] n. impassiveness …   English World dictionary

  • impassive — index callous, controlled (restrained), dispassionate, impervious, inexpressive, inscrutable, insusceptible ( …   Law dictionary

  • impassive — (adj.) 1660s, not feeling pain, from assimilated form of in not, opposite of (see IN (Cf. in ) (1)) + PASSIVE (Cf. passive). Meaning void of emotions is from 1690s. Related: Impassively; impassiveness (1640s) …   Etymology dictionary

  • impassive — [adj] aloof, cool apathetic, callous, cold, cold blooded*, collected, composed, dispassionate, dry, emotionless, hardened, heartless, imperturbable, indifferent, indurated, inexcitable, inexpressive, inscrutable, insensible, insusceptible, matter …   New thesaurus

  • impassive — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ not feeling or showing emotion. DERIVATIVES impassively adverb impassiveness noun impassivity noun …   English terms dictionary

  • impassive — [[t]ɪmpæ̱sɪv[/t]] ADJ GRADED If someone is impassive or their face is impassive, they are not showing any emotion. [WRITTEN] He searched Hill s impassive face for some indication that he understood... As the foreman of the jury announced the… …   English dictionary

  • impassive — adjective Date: 1605 1. a. archaic unsusceptible to pain b. unsusceptible to physical feeling ; insensible c. unsusceptible to or destitute of emotion ; apathetic 2. giving no sign of feeling or emotion ; expressionless • …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • impassive — adj. VERBS ▪ be, sit, stand ▪ become ▪ remain ADVERB ▪ completely, quite …   Collocations dictionary

  • impassive — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) adj. stolid, phlegmatic, stoical, calm, undemonstrative. See insensibility. II (Roget s IV) modif. Syn. indifferent, apathetic, stoic, stolid, phlegmatic, callous, sedate, insensitive, emotionless; see… …   English dictionary for students


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