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[uh-tey-nuh-buh l] /əˈteɪ nə bəl/
capable of being attained.
Origin of attainable
1640-50; attain + -able
Related forms
attainability, attainableness, noun
nonattainability, noun
nonattainable, adjective
superattainable, adjective
superattainableness, noun
superattainably, adverb
unattainability, noun
unattainable, adjective
unattainableness, noun
unattainably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unattainable
  • Reading and educating ourselves are our tickets to many places that are unattainable by physical means.
  • Such technologies could open access to previously unattainable oil across the globe.
  • It also means that many students who come from families without college experience feel that college is unattainable.
  • Pure objectivity not only is unattainable by humans qua humans but, also, countervails mankind's ultimate coping success.
  • Thus the vacuum becomes a state that is unattainable.
  • He should also have bodily activity and strength, unattainable by our sedentary life in public offices.
  • Pinpoint targeting has always been the goal for advertising, but has been unattainable for a couple of reasons.
  • Indeed, it stands to reason that our ideal of the open society is unattainable.
  • Perhaps it's because they're unattainable that they've become the focus of our hedonistic fantasies.
  • The worlds they depicted didn't seem foreign or unattainable.
British Dictionary definitions for unattainable


not achievable or accomplishable: an unattainable goal
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
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Word Origin and History for unattainable

1660s, from un- (1) "not" + attainable.



1640s; see attain + -able. Related: Attainability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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