Is there such a word as repercussionless. Or what word would mean something like that??

  • 4
    It's a regularly-formed word, whose meaning is clear. Yes it's a word. (It might be a nonce-word) Whether any dictionaries have recorded it or not is irrelevant.
    – Colin Fine
    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:15
  • 2
    The concept might be more commonly expressed as "repercussion-free".
    – Hellion
    Feb 5, 2019 at 13:10
  • What's really fun is inflecting words with combined suffixes -less and -ness. Repercussionlessness (impunity)
    – Zebrafish
    Feb 6, 2019 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


The suffix -less, ‘devoid of, not having, not susceptible to’ is as old as the language itself and can still form new adjectives from virtually any noun. Printed dictionaries rarely give such derived words their own entries but may include them in a list at the end of the entry for the root noun.

While the suffix is still productive, there are difficult to define restraints of acceptability. For instance, most readers would not find a noun phrase such as cabinetless kitchen design unusual, but something like an honestyless politician would raise eyebrows. Most speakers would likely prefer saying a dishonest politician or one without honesty.

A Google NGram shows that with no repercussions or without repercussion(s) are far more frequently used than repercussionless, which doesn’t even register in a Google Books query. This means that in a vast corpus of 189 billion words, it occurs less than 40 times.

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This does not mean that no one has ever formed the word before:

Repercussionless decisions are few and far between. — David Richard Willings, How to use the case study in training for decision making, 1968, 47.

…to enjoy a more childish fantasy of repercussionless dependence, pretence, desire, ... — George William Mallory Harrison, Z. Philip Ambrose Satyr Drama: Tragedy at Play, 2005, 176.

You’d think they would have wanted this place, a site of unchecked and almost repercussionless speed. But the military didn’t want an enormous salt desert. — Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers, 2013, 20.

Each writer must decide whether repercussionless sounds more like a cabinetless kitchen or an honestyless politician. In the first example, I would prefer decisions with no repercussions, but I find the other two rather elegant. It’s up to you to decide.

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