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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inexplicable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By an inexplicable insight the child seemed to know that he was dying.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Yet something new, inexplicable, thwarted her and changed the simplicity of her passion.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • Her anguish was redoubled by this mysterious and inexplicable struggle within her.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • But that night, all at once, she felt her heart was softened by some inexplicable happiness.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • This inexplicable mystery was revealed to Joseph in a dream.

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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