[in-ek-spli-kuh-buhl, in-ik-splik-uh-buhl]


not explicable; incapable of being accounted for or explained.

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

Synonyms for inexplicable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for inexplicably

strangely, peculiarly, queerly, ridiculously, unusually, inexplicably

Examples from the Web for inexplicably

Contemporary Examples of inexplicably

Historical Examples of inexplicably

  • Suddenly and, as it seemed to them, inexplicably, Mrs. Clutters had died.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • You came to my room while I was inexplicably out and waited till I returned.


    Louis Joseph Vance

  • All mundane phenomena were inexplicably contorted that night.

    A Great Man

    Arnold Bennett

  • And yet I remembered how unhappy I felt, how inexplicably unhappy.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • Strength was flowing into me, as inexplicably as it had flowed away from me a while past.

    The Thing from the Lake

    Eleanor M. Ingram

British Dictionary definitions for inexplicably




not capable of explanation; unexplainable
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 inexplicably



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper