late 14c., "incapable of being bent, physically rigid," also figuratively, "unyielding in temper or purpose," from Middle French inflexible and directly from Latin inflexibilis "that cannot be bent," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1) + flexibilis "pliant, yielding" (see flexible). In early 15c. an identical word had an opposite sense, "capable of being swayed or moved," from in- "in, on." Related: Inflexibly.
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