[in-di-sahy-fer-uh-buh l]


not decipherable; illegible.
not understandable; incomprehensible.

Origin of indecipherable

First recorded in 1795–1805; in-3 + decipherable
Related formsin·de·ci·pher·a·bil·i·ty, in·de·ci·pher·a·ble·ness, nounin·de·ci·pher·a·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for indecipherable

illegible, cryptic, scrawled, hieroglyphic

Examples from the Web for indecipherable

Contemporary Examples of indecipherable

  • A silver bucket adorned with indecipherable white symbols sits amid candles and small wooden figures of African gods.

  • Yet how, in this age of protean trends and indecipherable jargon, are we to draw the line?

    The Daily Beast logo
    When Not to Take a Selfie

    James Poulos

    December 11, 2013

  • Nuclear jargon has evolved into a code that is indecipherable to the layman.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Be Afraid, Very Afraid

    Nathaniel Rich

    March 15, 2011

  • His edits often were indecipherable, mysterious marks on the side of the page written with a Sharpie.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Rove You Don't Know

    Matt Latimer

    March 9, 2010

Historical Examples of indecipherable

British Dictionary definitions for indecipherable



not decipherable; illegible
Derived Formsindecipherability or indecipherableness, nounindecipherably, 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 indecipherable

1802, from in- (1) "not" + decipherable (see decipher). Related: Indecipherability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper