inevitable[in ev′i tə bəl]
Death is inevitable
- The definition of inevitable is something that is certain to happen.
An example of inevitable is death.
Origin of inevitableMiddle English ; from Classical Latin inevitabilis: see in- and amp; evitable
- Impossible to avoid or prevent; certain to happen. See Synonyms at certain.
- Invariably occurring or appearing; predictable: the inevitable changes of the seasons.
- in·ev′i·ta·bil′i·ty, in·ev′i·ta·ble·ness
Largely synonymous with unavoidable, slightly more formal (borrowed as a unit from Latin, rather than formed in English), and with nuances of a natural consequence that occurs after – “inevitable punishment”, “inevitable result”. By contrast, unavoidable has some nuance of existing circumstances – “I was unavoidably detained.” – without there necessarily being a cause. Further, unavoidable has nuances of “could not have happened any other way, even if circumstances were different”, while inevitable connotes “given circumstances, this is the necessary result.”.
Compare “the disaster was inevitable”, meaning “sooner or later the disaster would happen (because they did not prepare)” with “the disaster was unavoidable”, meaning “even if they had prepared, the disaster would have happened”.
Often used with a negative connotation, but may be used with a positive or neutral sense of fate, as in “Given our preparations, our victory was inevitable.” in which case *unavoidable is not acceptable.
In the same manner, impreventable and inevitable have different nuances. The sense “the disease was inevitable” means “It was natural to suffer the disease”; the sense “the disease was impreventable” means “There was no preventive methods against the disease”.
Thus, "inevitable" indicates "unable to avoid due to natural or necessary matters", "unavoidable" indicates "unable to avoid due to incidental matters", impreventable indicates "unable to avoid due to the absence of preventive methods".