inscrutable

[in-skroo-tuh-buhl]

adjective

incapable of being investigated, analyzed, or scrutinized; impenetrable.
not easily understood; mysterious; unfathomable: an inscrutable smile.
incapable of being seen through physically; physically impenetrable: the inscrutable depths of the ocean.

Nearby words

  1. inscribe,
  2. inscription,
  3. inscriptive,
  4. inscroll,
  5. inscrutability,
  6. insculp,
  7. inseam,
  8. insect,
  9. insect wax,
  10. insecta

Origin of inscrutable

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Late Latin word inscrūtābilis. See in-3, scrutable

Related formsin·scru·ta·bil·i·ty, in·scru·ta·ble·ness, nounin·scru·ta·bly, adverb

Synonym study

1. See mysterious.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inscrutability


British Dictionary definitions for inscrutability

inscrutable

adjective

incomprehensible; mysterious or enigmatic
Derived Formsinscrutability or inscrutableness, nouninscrutably, adverb

Word Origin for inscrutable

C15: from Late Latin inscrūtābilis, from Latin in- 1 + scrūtārī to examine

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 inscrutability
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper