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unutterable

[uhn-uht-er-uh-buh l]
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adjective
  1. not communicable by utterance; unspeakable; beyond expression: unutterable joy.
  2. not utterable; not pronounceable: an unutterable foreign word.
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Origin of unutterable

1580–90; un-1 + utterable
Related formsun·ut·ter·a·bly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unutterable

Historical Examples

  • To his unutterable astonishment Andy rose and stepped between him and the door.

    Way of the Lawless

    Max Brand

  • He held out his arms, but, to his unutterable surprise, the girl recoiled from him.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • She laid her hand upon it, and in a tone of unutterable tenderness said, 'Man-Steenie!'

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald

  • She saw a soul laid bare before her in all its unutterable vileness.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • But he saw at last to the bottom of them; saw there unutterable sorrow and love.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter


British Dictionary definitions for unutterable

unutterable

adjective
  1. incapable of being expressed in words
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Derived Formsunutterableness, noununutterably, 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 unutterable

adj.

1580s, from un- (1) "not" + utterable (see utter (v.)). As a noun, from 1788; unutterables as a euphemism for "trousers" is recorded by 1843.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper