Definition of incurable in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈkjʊərəb(ə)l/


1(Of a sick person or a disease) not able to be cured: even when the sick are incurable they are never untreatable incurable diseases
More example sentences
  • But the claim that a product can cure an incurable disease should sound alarms.
  • In this week's program we hear the personal stories of three people who have been struck down with the incurable illness Motor Neurone Disease.
  • This predictability of the dying phase is not always as clear in other chronic incurable diseases.
terminal, fatal, deadly, mortal;
chronic, persistent, long-standing, constantly recurring, long-term
1.1(Of a person or behaviour) unable to be changed: an incurable optimist
More example sentences
  • Hughes is well cast as the sympathetic, Candide-like Simon, an incurable optimist who talks about hopelessness without quite grasping the concept himself.
  • There are signs of improvement, but only an incurable optimist would conclude that the game is in rude health.
  • ‘I find most skeptics to be incurable optimists,’ Hyde continues.
inveterate, dyed-in-the-wool, confirmed, entrenched, established, long-established, long-standing, deep-rooted, diehard, complete, absolute, utter, thorough, thoroughgoing, out-and-out, true blue, through and through;
firm, unshakeable, staunch, steadfast, committed, devoted, dedicated, loyal, faithful, unswerving, unwavering, unfaltering;
unashamed, unapologetic, unrepentant, incorrigible, hopeless, beyond hope;
North American  full-bore
archaic arrant
rare right-down


A person who cannot be cured.
Example sentences
  • The hospital - which has more than 2,000 fundraisers - was first opened as a cancer pavilion and home for incurables in 1892, but was renamed The Christie Hospital in 1901 in recognition of the pioneering work of both Mr and Mrs Christie.
  • Triage will take one look at me and stick me with the rest of the incurables.
  • Showing little progress and imposing a burden on educators and their resources, the incurables were gradually abandoned in favor of those who showed more promise.



Pronunciation: /ɪnkjʊərəˈbɪlɪti/
Example sentences
  • The increased levels of depression and anxiety around recurrence of breast cancer highlight the adverse effect of this event on women's mental health, which signals incurability and possible physical burden.
  • Three years later, hobbling with knee bandages and a mindset of incurability, I was directed by a colleague to a spiritual healer in a back street in Cambridge.
  • All too often, quality of life is neither protected nor supported adequately between the stage of recognized incurability and death.




Pronunciation: /ɪnˈkjʊərəbli/
[as submodifier]: incurably ill patients
More example sentences
  • Doubtless he would tell me that I am simply upset about my father being incurably ill, and that as his daughter I am simply expressing displaced anger.
  • However, when it comes to an incurably ill adult who has a voice and a will of his or her own, these human rights are apparently taken away.
  • As a result, evidence of depression is often overlooked in ill or disabled persons who are suicidal, and some incurably ill or disabled persons experience pressure to refuse life-prolonging medical treatment.


Middle English: from Old French, or from late Latin incurabilis, from in- 'not' + curabilis (see curable).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|cur¦able

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