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[in-ek-spli-kuh-buh l, in-ik-splik-uh-buh l] /ɪnˈɛk splɪ kə bəl, ˌɪn ɪkˈsplɪk ə bəl/
not explicable; incapable of being accounted for or explained.
Origin of inexplicable
late Middle English
First recorded in 1375-1425; late Middle English word from Latin word inexplicābilis. See in-3, explicable
Related forms
inexplicability, inexplicableness, noun
inexplicably, adverb
unaccountable, mysterious, mystifying. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for inexplicable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Not prayer nor reason nor ignorance was the source of her sustained and inexplicable courage.

    The U.P. Trail Zane Grey
  • An inexplicable reserve had risen up and thrust them asunder.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • Roma was puzzling over the inexplicable announcement, when old John, one of Rossi's pensioners, knocked at her door.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • This maneuver was inexplicable—a stranger would have puzzled to make it out.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm Irvin S. Cobb
  • On the contrary, it is a strange course of procedure, a superhuman confidence, an inexplicable reality.

    The Tragedy of St. Helena Walter Runciman
British Dictionary definitions for inexplicable


/ˌɪnɪkˈsplɪkəbəl; ɪnˈɛksplɪkəbəl/
not capable of explanation; unexplainable
Derived Forms
inexplicability, inexplicableness, inexplainability, inexplainableness, noun
inexplicably, inexplainably, 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
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Word Origin and History for inexplicable

early 15c., from Middle French inexplicable or directly from Latin inexplicabilis "that cannot be unfolded or disentangled, very intricate," figuratively, "inexplicable," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + explicabilis "that may be explained" (see explicable). Related: Inexplicably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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