not intelligible; not capable of being understood.

Origin of unintelligible

First recorded in 1610–20; un-1 + intelligible
Related formsun·in·tel·li·gi·bil·i·ty, un·in·tel·li·gi·ble·ness, nounun·in·tel·li·gi·bly, adverb
Can be confusedunintelligent unintelligible

Synonyms for unintelligible

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

Examples from the Web for unintelligibly

Historical Examples of unintelligibly

  • He called back one of the Zaptiehs and muttered to him unintelligibly in Turkish.

  • He read through a sermon after dinner, unintelligibly and even inaudibly.

    Mr. Scarborough's Family

    Anthony Trollope

  • So Fanny regained life and consciousness; she no longer chattered oddly and unintelligibly, but lay very still and quiet.

  • Then it began to whir again in the locust speech of the Martian commentator, explaining rapidly, unintelligibly.

    The Record of Currupira

    Robert Abernathy

  • They unintelligibly hailed me, and I replied with inarticulate but cheerful sounds, and hurried forward to get into my gaiters.

British Dictionary definitions for unintelligibly



not able to be understood; incomprehensible
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 unintelligibly



1610s, "incapable of being understood," from un- (1) "not" + intelligible. Related: Unintelligibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper