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unspeakable

[uhn-spee-kuh-buh l] /ʌnˈspi kə bəl/
adjective
1.
not speakable; that may not be spoken.
2.
exceeding the power of speech; unutterable; inexpressible; indescribable.
3.
inexpressibly bad or objectionable.
Origin of unspeakable
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English unspekeabill. See un-1, speakable
Related forms
unspeakableness, noun
unspeakably, adverb
Synonyms
2. ineffable, unimaginable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unspeakably
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was unspeakably humiliating to be told that she had overstepped her authority.

  • He slouched and shuffled in his walk, and he was unspeakably dirty.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • The explanation was at once obvious and unspeakably foolish.

    Nobody Louis Joseph Vance
  • They bored him unspeakably, and the performance lasted half an hour.

    Aunt Rachel David Christie Murray
  • He says the name of our yacht, Hittie Magin, is unspeakably vulgar.

  • He stared about him sheepishly, bewildered and abashed, and unspeakably aggrieved.

    Earth's Enigmas Charles G. D. Roberts
  • I hear that question, and I am unspeakably overwhelmed by it.

    A Fair Penitent Wilkie Collins
British Dictionary definitions for unspeakably

unspeakable

/ʌnˈspiːkəbəl/
adjective
1.
incapable of expression in words: unspeakable ecstasy
2.
indescribably bad or evil
3.
not to be uttered: unspeakable thoughts
Derived Forms
unspeakableness, noun
unspeakably, 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 unspeakably

unspeakable

adj.

c.1400, "inexpressible," from un- (1) "not" + speakable (see speak). Meaning "indescribably bad or wicked" is recorded from 1831. Related: Unspeakably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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