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unthinkable

[uhn-thing-kuh-buh l] /ʌnˈθɪŋ kə bəl/
adjective
1.
inconceivable; unimaginable:
the unthinkable size of the universe.
2.
not to be considered; out of the question:
Such a suggestion is unthinkable.
noun
3.
something that cannot be conceived or imagined, as something too unusual, vague, or disagreeable:
Today's unthinkables are tomorrow's realities.
Origin of unthinkable
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English; see un-1, thinkable
Related forms
unthinkability, unthinkableness, noun
unthinkably, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unthinkable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They were much given to gluttony and drinking; and there was an unthinkable amount of scandal and backbiting and jealousy.

    Samuel the Seeker Upton Sinclair
  • They are unthinkable and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • Worn as he was, it was unthinkable that he should go far to-night.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • At best, it was void of honor; at worst, it was unthinkable.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
  • It was unthinkable that he could live in it alone, it would be haunted by memories, he would see her in every room.

British Dictionary definitions for unthinkable

unthinkable

/ʌnˈθɪŋkəbəl/
adjective
1.
not to be contemplated; out of the question
2.
unimaginable; inconceivable
3.
unreasonable; improbable
Derived Forms
unthinkability, unthinkableness, noun
unthinkably, 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 unthinkable
adj.

early 15c., "too large to be conceived, unimaginable," from un- (1) "not" + thinkable (see think). Meaning "incapable of being framed by thought" is recorded from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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