- incapable of being expressed or described in words; inexpressible: ineffable joy.
- not to be spoken because of its sacredness; unutterable: the ineffable name of the deity.
Origin of ineffable
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ineffable
And on that score, on that ineffable quality called charisma, Walker may face his biggest challenges.Scott Walker Is the Perfect Republican Candidate for 2016 (on Paper)
November 20, 2013
Sometimes there's a thing in the air, an ineffable thing, that just makes it all work.Endless Summer: Meg Wolitzer Talks About “The Interestings”
April 16, 2013
The passages where Phillips articulates that ineffable transport that comes from a particular song are the best in the book.Love in the Time of iPod
April 14, 2009
There were throes of love within her, of aspiration, of an ineffable delight in being.Tiverton Tales
To dream that dream, this was the great, the ineffable happiness.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
There was an ineffable mingling of love and sorrow on the sweet countenance.Wilfrid Cumbermede
Rut they were all accompanied with an ineffable dignity, and an angelic purity.Imogen
You worship no omnipotent and ineffable essence; you believe in no omnipotent and ineffable essence.Vivian Grey
Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
- too great or intense to be expressed in words; unutterable
- too sacred to be uttered
- indescribable; indefinable
Word Origin and History for ineffable
late 14c., from Old French ineffable (14c.) or directly from Latin ineffabilis "unutterable," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + effabilis "speakable," from effari "utter," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + fari "speak" (see fame (n.)). Plural noun ineffables was, for a time, a jocular euphemism for "trousers" (1823). Related: Ineffably.