• synonyms


[in-ek-spli-kuh-buhl, in-ik-splik-uh-buhl]
  1. not explicable; incapable of being accounted for or explained.
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Origin of inexplicable

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English word from Latin word inexplicābilis. See in-3, explicable
Related formsin·ex·pli·ca·bil·i·ty, in·ex·pli·ca·ble·ness, nounin·ex·pli·ca·bly, adverb


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for inexplicability

Historical Examples

  • But the inexplicability of the general's conduct dwelt much on her thoughts.

    Northanger Abbey

    Jane Austen

  • Vaguely he perceived this, conscious only of inexplicability; but he himself also ceased, and watched for developments.

    The Necromancers

    Robert Hugh Benson

  • The mistiness and inexplicability of his productions is part of such a process, as well as of invincible temperament.

British Dictionary definitions for inexplicability



  1. not capable of explanation; unexplainable
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Derived Formsinexplicability, inexplicableness, inexplainability or inexplainableness, nouninexplicably or inexplainably, 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 inexplicability



early 15c., from Middle French inexplicable or directly from Latin inexplicabilis "that cannot be unfolded or disentangled, very intricate," figuratively, "inexplicable," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + explicabilis "that may be explained" (see explicable). Related: Inexplicably.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper