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[uhn-kuh n-troh-luh-buh l] /ˌʌn kənˈtroʊ lə bəl/
incapable of being controlled or restrained:
uncontrollable anger.
something, as an obligation, that cannot be controlled, reduced, or dispensed with:
the uncontrollables in the new federal budget.
Origin of uncontrollable
First recorded in 1570-80; un-1 + control + -able
Related forms
uncontrollably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for uncontrollable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As if giving way to an uncontrollable impulse, he opened it a little.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • Tom, in uncontrollable temper, raised his hand and struck him.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • I was rather vexed at this uncontrollable outburst, and I continued my explanation.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Here, for the present, I stop in sheer and uncontrollable disgust.

  • Then, as if obeying an uncontrollable impulse, she came toward him.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for uncontrollable


incapable of being controlled or managed
Derived Forms
uncontrollability, uncontrollableness, noun
uncontrollably, 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 uncontrollable

1570s, "irrefutable," from un- (1) "not" + controllable. From 1590s as "not subject to authority;" meaning "that cannot be restrained" is from 1640s. Related: Uncontrollably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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