[uhn-noh-uh-buh l]


not knowable; incapable of being known or understood.


something that is unknowable.
the Unknowable, the postulated reality lying behind all phenomena but not cognizable by any of the processes by which the mind cognizes phenomenal objects.

Origin of unknowable

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at un-1, knowable
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unknowable

Contemporary Examples of unknowable

Historical Examples of unknowable

  • But a sense in which God is "unknowable" to us has to be admitted.

  • But to recognise that the soul of a man is unknowable, is the ultimate achievement of wisdom.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • The Universe, knowable and unknowable, will it be affected a whit by it?

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Despite Spencer, the human mind has never admitted the existence of the Unknowable.


    John Spargo

  • In either case, is the correct word 'unknown' or 'unknowable'?

    Masters of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith

British Dictionary definitions for unknowable



incapable of being known or understood
  1. beyond human understanding
  2. (as noun)the unknowable
Derived Formsunknowableness or unknowability, noununknowably, adverb



the Unknowable philosophy the ultimate reality that underlies all phenomena but cannot be known
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