Definition of inscrutable in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈskruːtəb(ə)l/


Impossible to understand or interpret: Guy looked blankly inscrutable
More example sentences
  • An inscrutable and incomparably powerful force permeates the Universe and binds it together.
  • It is not some mysterious, inscrutable relation that beliefs bear to facts, whatever they might be.
  • There is something inscrutable about the dragon, something that cannot be understood.
enigmatic, unreadable, impenetrable, mysterious, impossible to interpret, cryptic;
unexpressive, inexpressive, emotionless, unemotional, expressionless, impassive, blank, vacant, deadpan, dispassionate
informal poker-faced
mysterious, inexplicable, unexplainable, incomprehensible, beyond comprehension, beyond understanding, impossible to understand, unintelligible, impenetrable, unfathomable, fathomless, opaque, puzzling, perplexing, baffling, bewildering, confusing, abstruse, arcane, obscure
literary sibylline
archaic wildering



Pronunciation: /ɪnskruːtəˈbɪlɪti/
Example sentences
  • He stopped and turned back to look at her, not with a quizzical expression because he was trained not to display his emotions but with a stony face of impenetrable inscrutability.
  • McQueen's beautiful, monosyllabic, slightly smug inscrutability is exemplified in his two major roles of 1968, the millionaire thief Thomas Crown and the almost silent cop Frank Bullitt.
  • This kind of self-indulgent wordplay will probably delight those readers who equate inscrutability with intelligence, but it will deeply annoy those who simply want to understand.


Pronunciation: /ɪnˈskruːtəbli/
Example sentences
  • Is it among the ones we see on television each night - the inscrutably hard mask of the professional soldier or the sharp eyes that a rebel's disguise cannot conceal?
  • Some passages verge on the inscrutably cryptic.
  • But the other fascinating thing about the movie is that the South is portrayed as both inscrutably evil, and attractive.




Late Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin inscrutabilis, from in- 'not' + scrutari 'to search' (see scrutiny).

  • Inscrutable is from ecclesiastical Latin inscrutabilis, from in- ‘not’ and scrutari ‘to search’ also found in scrutiny (Late Middle English).

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