- 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.
Origin of inscrutable
SynonymsSee more synonyms for inscrutable on Thesaurus.com
1. hidden, incomprehensible, undiscoverable, inexplicable.
1. See mysterious.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for inscrutable
[Laughs] Nina seems to me to be the most inscrutable character—the most opaque character—and fascinating because of it.‘The Americans’ Showrunners Dissect the Secrets of Season 2
February 27, 2014
The characters are inscrutable, the plotting careless, and, at every opportunity, Bowles subverts the dramatic stakes.American Dreams, 1943: 'Two Serious Ladies' by Jane Bowles
May 30, 2013
Jamie Malanowski on the legacy of an inscrutable rock-and-roll legend.Behind the Levon Helm Biopic 'Ain't in It For My Health'
April 20, 2013
An inscrutable Obama looked back at Clarke, Klaidman writes, not betraying any emotion.7 Key Moments in Daniel Klaidman’s ‘Kill or Capture’ About Obama’s Drone War
June 2, 2012
What you see is already massive and inscrutable, but it is nothing compared with what might be going on beneath the surface.The Endgame Behind the Iranian Nuclear-Scientist Assassinations
January 12, 2012
Mary regarded the girl with an expression that was inscrutable when she spoke again.Within the Law
Her red lips smiled softly, and her eyes were dark and inscrutable.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
The old soldiers, for some inscrutable reason, go for goose to a man.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
The Chief Inspector stood it well, deferential but inscrutable.The Secret Agent
The image returned his unwavering gaze with inscrutable kindness.The Gentleman From Indiana
- incomprehensible; mysterious or enigmatic
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 inscrutable
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper