Definition of incommensurable in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌɪnkəˈmɛnʃ(ə)rəb(ə)l/
Pronunciation: /ˌɪnkəˈmɛnsjərəb(ə)l/


1Not able to be judged by the same standards; having no common standard of measurement: the two types of science are incommensurable and thus cannot be integrated
More example sentences
  • The pressures of the classroom moment do not lend themselves to a dialogue about these underlying and indeed incommensurable differences.
  • There were no terms in the Renaissance for what, since the eighteenth century, have been construed as essential signs in the body of incommensurable difference.
  • The new social agenda is to recognize and insist on individual varieties, incommensurable differences.
2 Mathematics (Of numbers) in a ratio that cannot be expressed as a ratio of integers.
Example sentences
  • Book five lays out the work of Eudoxus on proportion applied to commensurable and incommensurable magnitudes.
  • Similarly, we only know that a diagonal of a square is incommensurable with its side if we know that there are squares and that squares have diagonals.
  • If, when the lesser of two unequal magnitudes is continually subtracted in turn from the greater, that which is left never measures the one before it, the magnitudes will be incommensurable.
Example sentences
  • It leads to the incommensurable (irrational) relations, which cannot be represented in a rational form.
  • In contrast Archytas argued that 9/8 cubed or three major second intervals equals the square root of two as the Greek Miracle, the axiomatic algebra of the precise incommensurable irrational number.


(usually incommensurables)
An incommensurable quantity.
Example sentences
  • Anaxagoras and the followers of Pythagoras, with their development of incommensurables, are also thought by some to be the targets of Zeno's arguments.
  • No, your Honour, the only errors of principle are, what does the principle of equality before the law mean when it comes to sentencing in specific cases and does it require the comparison of incommensurables, as it were?
  • Pappus tells us, therefore, that Theaetetus was inspired by the work of Theodorus to work on incommensurables and that he made major contributions to the theory.



Pronunciation: /ˌɪnkəmɛnʃ(ə)rəˈbɪlɪti/
Pronunciation: /ˌɪnkəmɛnsjərəˈbɪlɪti/
Example sentences
  • God is the only hypothesis that does justice to the immensity and incommensurability of the cosmos.
  • Such incommensurability should not be understood as a reflection of our inability to make fine discriminations between divergent ways of life.
  • There we come to the third aspect of interaction - so I think that interaction always also integrates this aspect of incommensurability - of the fact that you cannot completely compare or that you cannot completely grasp the other.


Pronunciation: /ˌɪnkəˈmɛnʃ(ə)rəbli/
Pronunciation: /ˌɪŋkəˈmɛnsjərəbli/
Example sentences
  • It is not an answer that these figures or these seven years of Aristeas' journey will provide, but a question: by which the incommensurably qualitative comes to measure what it has been measured and sold by.
  • The diverse cultures here are not incommensurably unique to each other.
  • His research topics were uncommon crystals and their phase transitions, and included incommensurably modulated structures, quasicrystals and polytypes.


Mid 16th century (in the mathematical sense): from late Latin incommensurabilis, from in- 'not' + commensurabilis (see commensurable).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|com¦men¦sur|able

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