verb (used with object), pro·nounced, pro·nounc·ing.

verb (used without object), pro·nounced, pro·nounc·ing.

Origin of pronounce

1300–50; Middle English pronouncen < Middle French prononcier < Latin prōnūntiāre to proclaim, announce, recite, utter. See pro-1, announce
Related formspro·nounce·a·ble, adjectivepro·nounce·a·ble·ness, nounpro·nounc·er, nounpre·pro·nounce, verb (used with object), pre·pro·nounced, pre·pro·nounc·ing.un·pro·nounce·a·ble, adjectiveun·pro·nounc·ing, adjective
Can be confusedannounce enunciate pronounce (see synonym study at announce) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unpronounceable

Contemporary Examples of unpronounceable

Historical Examples of unpronounceable

  • But spare your honest indignation; our unpronounceable friend did none of these.

    Nuts and Nutcrackers

    Charles James Lever

  • The signorino is an American and he has an unpronounceable name.

    Olive in Italy

    Moray Dalton

  • She said an unpronounceable word and added: "You may call me Liz."

    The Gift Bearer

    Charles Louis Fontenay

  • Their last names were unpronounceable, so they were called Pavel and Peter.

    My Antonia

    Willa Cather

  • He probably had either a surname to be concealed or else unpronounceable to French lips.

    A Modern Telemachus

    Charlotte M. Yonge

British Dictionary definitions for unpronounceable



not able to be uttered or articulated



to utter or articulate (a sound or sequence of sounds)
(tr) to utter or articulate (sounds or words) in the correct way
(tr; may take a clause as object) to proclaim officially and solemnlyI now pronounce you man and wife
(when tr, may take a clause as object) to declare as one's judgmentto pronounce the death sentence upon someone
(tr) to make a phonetic transcription of (sounds or words)
Derived Formspronounceable, adjectivepronouncer, noun

Word Origin for pronounce

C14: from Latin prōnuntiāre to announce, from pro- 1 + nuntiāre to announce
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 unpronounceable



early 14c., "to declare officially;" late 14c., "to speak, utter," from Old French prononcier "declare, speak out, pronounce" (late 13c., Modern French prononcer), from Late Latin pronunciare, from Latin pronuntiare "to proclaim, announce; pronounce, utter," from pro- "forth, out, in public" (see pro-) + nuntiare "announce," from nuntius "messenger" (see nuncio). With reference to the mode of sounding words or languages, it is attested from 1620s (but cf. pronunciation in this sense early 15c.). Related: Pronounced; pronouncing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper