il·​leg·​i·​ble | \ (ˌ)i(l)-ˈle-jə-bəl How to pronounce illegible (audio) \

Definition of illegible

: not legible : indecipherable illegible writing

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Other Words from illegible

illegibility \ (ˌ)i(l)-​ˌle-​jə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce illegibility (audio) \ noun
illegibly \ (ˌ)i(l)-​ˈle-​jə-​blē How to pronounce illegibly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of illegible in a Sentence

illegible signatures on the petition will be disregarded
Recent Examples on the Web This, among umpteen other nuances — how did working-class, Jewish, Scotch-nationalist Brexiteers vote? — makes the electoral result largely illegible. Daniel Foster, National Review, "Fictions of the Right," 19 Dec. 2019 The artist walks away from the camera into a large, open landscape, becoming smaller and smaller and finally an illegible presence in the distance. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, "A new generation of portraits asks: Can you see these people?," 19 Nov. 2019 Gilbert, currently 75 years old, will not be illegible for parole until the year 2058. Jordan Freiman, CBS News, "Chesa Boudin wins tightly contested San Francisco district attorney's race," 9 Nov. 2019 Even if yours does, the date can become basically illegible over time. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "How Bad Is It to Use Expired Sunscreen?," 12 Sep. 2019 For me, writing on a phone screen was even more illegible, leading to lots of transcription errors. Larry Magid, The Mercury News, "Magid: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is big, beautiful and pricey," 30 Aug. 2019 In addition, an illegible word was written on the back of the statue, and blue paint was spattered around the base. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Charlottesville statue of Robert E. Lee vandalized with anti-Trump graffiti," 24 July 2019 Regardless of intention, the clips are illegible, generating primarily a voyeur’s guilty, mystified confusion. New York Times, "When Britney Spears Posts on Instagram, a Thousand Conspiracies Flower," 12 June 2019 But the painting was difficult to see, and key details were almost illegible in the context of San Moise. Washington Post, "Seeing Tintoretto is Venice is very nice. But so is seeing his works in a well-lit museum.," 27 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'illegible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of illegible

1580, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for illegible

Time Traveler

The first known use of illegible was in 1580

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Statistics for illegible

Last Updated

1 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Illegible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for illegible


How to pronounce illegible (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of illegible

: not clear enough to read : not legible


il·​leg·​i·​ble | \ i-ˈle-jə-bəl How to pronounce illegible (audio) \

Kids Definition of illegible

: impossible or very hard to read His handwriting is illegible.

Other Words from illegible

illegibly \ -​blē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on illegible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for illegible

Spanish Central: Translation of illegible

Nglish: Translation of illegible for Spanish Speakers

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