[in-kuh-men-ser-uh-buh l, -sher-]


not commensurable; having no common basis, measure, or standard of comparison.
utterly disproportionate.
Mathematics. (of two or more quantities) having no common measure.


something that is incommensurable.
Mathematics. one of two or more incommensurable quantities.

Nearby words

  1. income tax,
  2. incomer,
  3. incomes policy,
  4. incoming,
  5. incommensurability,
  6. incommensurate,
  7. incommode,
  8. incommodious,
  9. incommodity,
  10. incommunicability

Origin of incommensurable

From the Late Latin word incommēnsūrābilis, dating back to 1550–60. See in-3, commensurable

Related formsin·com·men·su·ra·bil·i·ty, in·com·men·su·ra·ble·ness, nounin·com·men·su·ra·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for incommensurable

British Dictionary definitions for incommensurable



incapable of being judged, measured, or considered comparatively
(postpositive foll by with) not in accordance; incommensurate
  1. (of two numbers) having an irrational ratio
  2. not having units of the same dimension
  3. unrelated to another measurement by integral multiples


something incommensurable
Derived Formsincommensurability or incommensurableness, nounincommensurably, 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

Word Origin and History for incommensurable



1550s, from Middle French incommensurable or directly from Medieval Latin incommensurabilis, from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + Late Latin commensurabilis, from Latin com- "with" + mensurabilis "measurable," from mensurare "to measure" (see measure (v.)). Related: Incommensurably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper