SYNONYMS | EXAMPLES | WORD ORIGIN adjective incapable of being expressed or described in words; inexpressible: ineffable joy. not to be spoken because of its sacredness; unutterable: the ineffable name of the deity. Origin of ineffable
First recorded in
1400–50; late Middle English
effable Related forms in·ef·fa·bil·i·ty, in·ef·fa·ble·ness, noun in·ef·fa·bly, adverb
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for ineffability Historical Examples of ineffability British Dictionary definitions for ineffability adjective too great or intense to be expressed in words; unutterable too sacred to be uttered indescribable; indefinable Derived Forms ineffability or ineffableness, noun ineffably, adverb Word Origin for ineffable
C15: from Latin
ineffābilis unutterable, from in- 1 + effābilis, from effārī to utter, from fārī to speak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for ineffability adj.
late 14c., from Old French
ineffable (14c.) or directly from Latin ineffabilis "unutterable," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + effabilis "speakable," from effari "utter," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + fari "speak" (see fame (n.)). Plural noun ineffables was, for a time, a jocular euphemism for "trousers" (1823). Related: Ineffably.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper