Denotation vs. Connotation


[uhn-uht-er-uh-buh l] /ʌnˈʌt ər ə bəl/
not communicable by utterance; unspeakable; beyond expression:
unutterable joy.
not utterable; not pronounceable:
an unutterable foreign word.
Origin of unutterable
1580-90; un-1 + utterable
Related forms
unutterably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unutterable
Historical Examples
  • We will not go into ecstasies over the unutterable bliss of that moment.

  • She laid her hand upon it, and in a tone of unutterable tenderness said, 'Man-Steenie!'

    Heather and Snow George MacDonald
  • After that she soon did realize that the wondrous and the unutterable had happened to her too.

    The Price of Love Arnold Bennett
  • But he saw at last to the bottom of them; saw there unutterable sorrow and love.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • Her eyes were swollen with grief, her hair disheveled, and she appeared in all the dishabille of unutterable anguish.

    Josephine John S. C. Abbott
  • "You did not want me," said the girl, in a tone of unutterable pain.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • Eleanor could not speak; she stood the image of unutterable despair.

  • Slowly then, smiling with unutterable malice, Marzak lowered his bow.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • What but a smile of ridicule or of censure could attend on such a detail of "unutterable things?"

    Modern Flirtations Catherine Sinclair
  • He told me he was experiencing a feeling of unutterable relief, of vengeful elation.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for unutterable


incapable of being expressed in words
Derived Forms
unutterableness, noun
unutterably, 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 unutterable

1580s, from un- (1) "not" + utterable (see utter (v.)). As a noun, from 1788; unutterables as a euphemism for "trousers" is recorded by 1843.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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