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[uhn-in-tel-i-juh-buh l] /ˌʌn ɪnˈtɛl ɪ dʒə bəl/
not intelligible; not capable of being understood.
Origin of unintelligible
1610-20; un-1 + intelligible
Related forms
unintelligibility, unintelligibleness, noun
unintelligibly, adverb
Can be confused
unintelligent, unintelligible.
incomprehensible, baffling, undecipherable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unintelligible
  • So my guess is that these forms are unintelligible because that helps justify the absurd price.
  • As to the translation, even catching a completely unintelligible but organized signal would be a world shaking triumph.
  • Their conversation is a burbling, unintelligible stream.
  • The result is to scramble up the letters in the outgoing message so that it is unintelligible.
  • Some of his ideas were really quite simple, but he always managed to make them seem unintelligible.
  • Sometimes she would be so distraught at work that she would repeat unintelligible nursery rhymes.
  • unintelligible dialects are sometimes combined into one language if they share a literature or other cultural heritage.
  • Then more bodies turn up, and then there is an unintelligible ending.
  • Much of the acting is amateurish, and the sound is so poor that some of the dialogue is unintelligible.
  • During some short intervals, words and phrases become unintelligible.
British Dictionary definitions for unintelligible


not able to be understood; incomprehensible
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 unintelligible

1610s, "incapable of being understood," from un- (1) "not" + intelligible. Related: Unintelligibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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