[uhn-men-shuh-nuh-buh l]
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  1. something that is not to be mentioned: That subject was classed among the unmentionables.
  2. unmentionables,
    1. undergarments.
    2. (formerly) trousers or breeches.

Origin of unmentionable

First recorded in 1820–30; un-1 + mentionable
Related formsun·men·tion·a·ble·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for unmentionables


pl n
  1. mainly jocular underwear


    1. unsuitable or forbidden as a topic of conversation
    2. (as noun)the unmentionable
Derived Formsunmentionableness, noununmentionably, 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 unmentionables



1837, from un- (1) "not" + mentionable. Unmentionables "trousers" is attested from 1823; meaning "underwear" is recorded from 1910.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper