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[uhn-thing-kuh-buh l] /ʌnˈθɪŋ kə bəl/
inconceivable; unimaginable:
the unthinkable size of the universe.
not to be considered; out of the question:
Such a suggestion is unthinkable.
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
1400-50; late Middle English; see un-1, thinkable
Related forms
unthinkability, unthinkableness, noun
unthinkably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unthinkable
  • Get ready for the unthinkable with reviews of the latest survival guides.
  • Cars make available possibilities that were previously unthinkable.
  • There are an unthinkable amount of ways to infect someones computer but there is only a few ways to protect oneself.
  • Complete openness is almost unthinkable in the current paradigm of academic life.
  • Until recently, the idea of advertising publicly for something usually dealt with as privately as romance was all but unthinkable.
  • In the short run the city's financial problems are unthinkable.
  • We're talking about a mere two decades ago, when all of the objects shown on this page were pretty well unthinkable.
  • And abandoning it at this point is nearly unthinkable.
  • Even my parents did the unthinkable and began rationing hay.
  • Their presence would have been unthinkable in the past, because the government controlled food distribution.
British Dictionary definitions for unthinkable


not to be contemplated; out of the question
unimaginable; inconceivable
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

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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