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unspeakable

[uhn-spee-kuh-buh l] /ʌnˈspi kə bəl/
adjective
1.
not speakable; that may not be spoken.
2.
exceeding the power of speech; unutterable; inexpressible; indescribable.
3.
inexpressibly bad or objectionable.
Origin of unspeakable
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English unspekeabill. See un-1, speakable
Related forms
unspeakableness, noun
unspeakably, adverb
Synonyms
2. ineffable, unimaginable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for unspeakably
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the wretched state of my nerves, exertion of any kind is unspeakably disagreeable to me.

    The Woman in White Wilkie Collins
  • If so, great, unspeakably great, are the glories which await thee!

    The Faithful Promiser John Ross Macduff
  • Such a necessity will be unspeakably painful, I fear, but I am very sure you will not shrink from it, Mr. Redmayne.

    The Red Redmaynes Eden Phillpotts
  • The length of the engagement seemed to him unspeakably cruel.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • I never saw it but once, but it thrilled me then unspeakably.

    The Flag Homer Greene
  • The lesson is easily read; and when read, it is unspeakably solemn and tender.

    The Parables of Our Lord William Arnot
  • It is an exquisite treat to read them as works of art, but taken literally they are unspeakably absurd.

British Dictionary definitions for unspeakably

unspeakable

/ʌnˈspiːkəbəl/
adjective
1.
incapable of expression in words: unspeakable ecstasy
2.
indescribably bad or evil
3.
not to be uttered: unspeakable thoughts
Derived Forms
unspeakableness, noun
unspeakably, 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 unspeakably

unspeakable

adj.

c.1400, "inexpressible," from un- (1) "not" + speakable (see speak). Meaning "indescribably bad or wicked" is recorded from 1831. Related: Unspeakably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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