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inscrutable

play
adjective in·scru·ta·ble \in-ˈskrü-tə-bəl\

Simple Definition of inscrutable

  • : difficult to understand : causing people to feel curious or confused

Full Definition of inscrutable

  1. :  not readily investigated, interpreted, or understood :  mysterious <an inscrutable smile> <inscrutable motives>

in·scru·ta·bil·i·ty play \-ˌskrü-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
in·scru·ta·ble·ness play \-ˈskrü-tə-bəl-nəs\ noun
in·scru·ta·bly play \-blē\ adverb

Examples of inscrutable

  1. Of all the myths that have grown up around Alan Greenspan, the most powerful is the idea that he's willfully inscrutable. —James Surowiecki, New Yorker, 22 Jan. 2001

  2. That wily politicians might adopt Franklin's distinction between appearance and reality to become inscrutable confidence men did not seem to trouble him. —John H. Summers, Journal of American History, December 2000

  3. Supersymmetry is a magic mirror, and everything in what we imagine to be the real world has its ghostly, inscrutable mirror image. —Ian Stewart, Prospect, September 2003

  4. an inscrutable work of art

  5. He was a quiet, inscrutable man.



Origin of inscrutable

Middle English, from Late Latin inscrutabilis, from Latin in- + scrutari to search — more at scrutiny


First Known Use: 15th century



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