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[in-sol-vuh-buh l] /ɪnˈsɒl və bəl/
incapable of being solved or explained; insoluble.
Origin of insolvable
First recorded in 1640-50; in-3 + solvable
Related forms
insolvability, noun
insolvably, adverb
Can be confused
insoluble, insolvable, unsolvable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for insolvable
Historical Examples
  • To the men who secured his nomination and election he was an insolvable mystery.

    The Root of Evil

    Thomas Dixon
  • It is something like the insolvable question as to which came first, the hen or the egg.

    Silver Chimes in Syria W. S. Nelson
  • As for her words, they were like her conduct, an insolvable mystery, for which he had no key.

    Hand and Ring

    Anna Katharine Green
  • And this insolvable problem was a convenient blind for other discussions.

    Charles the Bold Ruth Putnam
  • Manifestly, if the first of these problems is insolvable, the second is insolvable also.

  • There are problems in metaphysics as there are in mathematics, which may be demonstrated to be insolvable.

    A Logic Of Facts George Jacob Holyoake
  • But it is not a seeming contradiction, it is a real one; not an insolvable mystery, but a palpable absurdity.

  • One poor fellow threw in his empty purse, and another a bundle of counterfeit or insolvable bank-notes.

  • It is one of the most insolvable questions in history why so little effort was made by the French to save the Maid's life.

  • The problem, thus propounded, was insolvable; but the nation propounded it thus.

British Dictionary definitions for insolvable


another word for insoluble (sense 2)
Derived Forms
insolvability, noun
insolvably, 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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