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

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 Perhaps Toby and Rachel’s union is illegible to onlookers. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "“Fleishman Is in Trouble” Turns the Marriage Novel Inside-Out," 27 June 2019 Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, incomplete entries, or entries not received for any reason., "Official Rules," 26 June 2019 The horizontal picture has been scanned and enlarged in an effort to make out the 147 names, but more than a dozen names are illegible, either blocked by a wooden fence in the foreground or listed on sides of the memorial that are outside the frame. San Diego Union-Tribune, "A group wants to rebuild a World War II memorial. This photo is all that’s left to go on.," 20 June 2019 Entries not submitted in accordance with these terms and all other rules and directions given by The Economist, or entries that are incomplete or illegible (as determined in our sole discretion) will not be eligible. The Economist, "Terms and Conditions for Young People’s Essay Contests," 19 June 2019 Unfettered, finally, from her illegible handwriting and the mortification of spelling anxiety. Devorah Heitner, Washington Post, "My mother struggled with learning disabilities. A smartphone would have helped her find her way.," 10 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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Statistics for illegible

Last Updated

31 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for illegible

The first known use of illegible was in 1580

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More Definitions for illegible



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

Comments on illegible

What made you want to look up illegible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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