Word of the Day

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

ineffable

\in-EF-uh-buhl\ , adjective;
1.
Incapable of being expressed in words; unspeakable; unutterable; indescribable.
2.
Not to be uttered; taboo.
Quotes:
. . .the tension inherent in human language when it attempts to relate the ineffable, see the invisible, understand the incomprehensible.
-- Jeffrey Burton Russell, A History of Heaven
Pope John Paul II notes that people are drawn to religion to answer the really big questions--for example, "What is the ultimate ineffable mystery which is the origin and destiny of our existence?"
-- William A. Sherden, The Fortune Sellers
One cannot blame them very much; explaining the ineffable is difficult.
-- Edward O. Wilson, "The Biological Basis of Morality", The Atlantic, April 1998
Origin:
Ineffable is from Latin ineffabilis, from in-, "not" + effabilis, "utterable," from effari, "to utter," from ex-, "out" + fari, "to speak."
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