Why was clemency trending last week?


[uhn-ree-duh-buh l] /ʌnˈri də bəl/
not readable; undecipherable; scribbled:
His scrawl was almost unreadable.
not interesting to read; dull; tedious; an unreadable treatise.
extraordinarily difficult to read or comprehend; obscure; incomprehensible:
an unreadable dream; an unreadable expression.
Origin of unreadable
1795-1805; un-1 + readable
Related forms
unreadability, unreadableness, noun
unreadably, adverb
Can be confused
illegible, illiterate, unreadable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unreadable
  • Collar tags can break or become unreadable and tattooing can become illegible.
  • unreadable or illegible applications will be denied.
  • Storage media can become degraded and unreadable due to environmental conditions, mechanical wear, and other factors.
  • These were quite unreadable until one peered into the coelostat, where they appeared motionless.
  • It's not so dark as to be unreadable, but it's a big disappointment on an otherwise stellar unit.
  • There are few inanimate objects sadder than books that have been rendered unreadable, as you can see for yourself above.
  • Patents are densely written, nearly unreadable blends of technical and legal jargon.
  • His book was so full of details that his subscribers found it unreadable and failed to continue their support.
  • The idea of encryption is to make a message unreadable, except to the receiver.
  • Others had translated it before him, but into almost unreadable prose.
British Dictionary definitions for unreadable


illegible; undecipherable
difficult or tedious to read
Derived Forms
unreadability, unreadableness, noun
unreadably, 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
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Word Origin and History for unreadable

c.1810, of written material, "dull, distasteful," from un- (1) "not" + readable. Meaning "illegible" is from 1830.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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