Share this entry

Share this page

unspeakable

Line breaks: un|speak¦able
Pronunciation: /ʌnˈspiːkəb(ə)l
 
/

Definition of unspeakable in English:

adjective

1Not able to be expressed in words: I felt an unspeakable tenderness towards her
More example sentences
  • How she felt so unseen and out-of-place, like the silence that fills the void of unspeakable words.
  • My sisters and I understood very little of the unspeakable reality he sought to describe.
  • If this is so, then writing becomes a problematic activity. If the writer uses words connected to the world, then cannot express an unspeakable experience.
Synonyms
indescribable, beyond words, beyond description, inexpressible, unutterable, indefinable, beggaring description, ineffable, unimaginable, inconceivable, unthinkable, unheard of, marvellous, wonderful
1.1Too bad or horrific to express in words: a piece of unspeakable abuse
More example sentences
  • Please drop whatever you're doing and throw your weight behind the campaign to put a stop to these unspeakable abuses.
  • Or were the crimes she committed so unspeakable as to be beyond forgiveness?
  • The scale of destruction is unthinkable, and the horror is unspeakable.
Synonyms

Derivatives

unspeakableness

1
noun
Example sentences
  • I believe the silence was the result of the unspeakableness of what they had experienced and the belief that no one would understand them if they did try to convey it.
  • It is this absence, this unspeakableness, through which sexuality is regulated.
  • The language of "unspeakableness" has practical problems and theological ones.

unspeakably

2
adverb
[as submodifier]: he was unspeakably cruel
More example sentences
  • Then they were held at Bagram and Kandahar, where their treatment was unspeakably harsh and cruel.
  • While a relationship is breaking down, people can be unspeakably cruel to each other.
  • To get the best vantage point we drove right to the top of the mountain - the Peshmerga front line. It was dark, unspeakably bleak and incredibly cold.

Definition of unspeakable in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure