- 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 ineffably
Great was his confidence, implicit, sublime, ineffably Irish.Ireland as It Is
Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
I could not help laughing at the thought, it sounded so ineffably comic.Confessions Of Con Cregan
Charles James Lever
But how ineffably weak and mean did she appear in her own eyes!Deerbrook
Already there was something sacred and ineffably sweet about her voice and face.A Spoil of Office
The things she had said were answered only by his scorn, and she could see he was ineffably ashamed of her.The Portrait of a Lady
- too great or intense to be expressed in words; unutterable
- too sacred to be uttered
- indescribable; indefinable
Word Origin and History for ineffably
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.