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Word of the Day
Monday, September 25, 2000

Definitions for inscrutable

  1. Difficult to fathom or understand; difficult to be explained or accounted for satisfactorily; obscure; incomprehensible; impenetrable.

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Citations for inscrutable
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recalled the inscrutable comment of a French diplomat about the interaction of the various European organisations: "It will work in practice, yes. But will it work in theory?" Jonathan Fenby, France on the Brink
There is nothing mysterious to a seaman unless it be the sea itself, which is the mistress of his existence and as inscrutable as Destiny. Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness
Origin of inscrutable
late Middle English
Inscrutable is from Late Latin inscrutabilis, from Latin in-, "not" + Late Latin scrutabilis, "searchable," from Latin scrutari, "to search through, to examine thoroughly (as if rummaging the trash or a heap of discarded garments)," from scruta, "trash, rags." The noun form is inscrutability. It is related to scrutiny, "careful examination."