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illegible

[ih-lej-uh-buh l]
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adjective
  1. not legible; impossible or hard to read or decipher because of poor handwriting, faded print, etc.: This letter is completely illegible.
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Origin of illegible

First recorded in 1605–15; il-2 + legible
Related formsil·leg·i·bil·i·ty, il·leg·i·ble·ness, nounil·leg·i·bly, adverb
Can be confusedillegible illiterate unreadable
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for illegibility

Historical Examples

  • Sometimes, owing to the illegibility of the writing, she has to study out sentences.

    The Arena

    Various

  • But there are other faults in writing besides ugliness and illegibility.

    Seeing and Hearing

    George W. E. Russell

  • There were traces of inscription on it, but eroded to illegibility.

  • The state license number was gone, and the serial number on the engine had been hammered into illegibility.

  • A kind of illegibility, though a different kind, stole over Mr Boffin's face.

    Our Mutual Friend

    Charles Dickens


British Dictionary definitions for illegibility

illegible

adjective
  1. unable to be read or deciphered
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Derived Formsillegibility or illegibleness, nounillegibly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for illegibility

illegible

adj.

1630s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + legible. Related: Illegibly; illegibility.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper