Also found in: Thesaurus.


Being such that attack, seizure, or capture is possible; vulnerable or assailable: a pregnable fortress.

[Middle English preignable, pregnabul, from Old French prenable, pregnauble, from prendre, to grasp, from Latin prehendere, prēndere; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.]

preg′na·bil′i·ty n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


capable of being assailed or captured
[C15 prenable, from Old French prendre to take, from Latin prehendere to lay hold of, catch]
ˌpregnaˈbility n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈprɛg nə bəl)

1. capable of being taken by force: a pregnable fortress.
2. open to rebuttal: a pregnable argument.
[1400–50; late Middle English prenable < Middle French pre(g)nable]
preg`na•bil′i•ty, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:


Open to attack and capture because of a lack of protection:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It draws upon vast unpublished and published documentation, including materials gathered in ten archives in Russia, among them the less pregnable collections of the Federal Security Service (FSB, St.
The skin is easily pregnable by bacteria and other contaminants resulting in serious risk of fatal infection.
Research indicates that HCV affects kidneys, heart, bones, brain, and eyes--all highly pregnable organs in people with HIV infection (Figure 2).
The biggest barrier to suburban charters may also be the most pregnable: parent satisfaction.
Like Cervantes's Sancho Panza --who, the Barber Maese Nicolas alleges, has allowed himself to become "pregnant" with Don Quijote's ideas ("En mal punto os emprenastes de sus promesas" 1.47)--Calandrino is endowed with an eminently pregnable mind, an unfettered imagination, and a receptivity to ideas that in a less doltish person might easily pass for idealism, but has garnered Calandrino the reputation of a credulous fool (upon hearing of Calandrino's simplicity, the sharp-witted Maso del Saggio immediately resolves to dupe him "o fargli credere alcuna nuova cosa" 8.3, 5).