illegible

adjective

il·​leg·​i·​ble (ˌ)i(l)-ˈle-jə-bəl How to pronounce illegible (audio)
: not legible : indecipherable
illegible writing
illegibly adverb

Example Sentences

illegible signatures on the petition will be disregarded
Recent Examples on the Web The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has processes in place for drivers looking to replace these illegible plates. Drake Bentley, Journal Sentinel, 29 Aug. 2022 In the past three years or so, however, tremors in my hands have rendered my handwriting mostly illegible. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2022 But across the state, graves are falling into disrepair as earth, grass and weeds swallow markers that have become illegible with years of corrosion and neglect. Stephen Underwood, Hartford Courant, 12 Sep. 2022 Over time, due to environmental factors, license plates begin to fade and become illegible — which could result in a citation. Drake Bentley, Journal Sentinel, 29 Aug. 2022 On the smaller monitors across Hulu Theater, further back from the stage, the font for players’ names and statistics became practically illegible. Shannon Liao, Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2022 The load carrying capacity modification labels may not be permanent and can fade, becoming illegible. Detroit Free Press, 27 May 2022 The load-carrying capacity modification labels may not be permanent and can fade, becoming illegible. National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration, USA TODAY, 26 May 2022 Her brief, written by assistant solicitor general Christopher Allen on Nessel's behalf, directly takes on the idea that the words are illegible due to spacing issues. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 8 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1580, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of illegible was in 1580

Dictionary Entries Near illegible

Cite this Entry

“Illegible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illegible. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

illegible

adjective

il·​leg·​i·​ble (ˈ)il-ˈ(l)ej-ə-bəl How to pronounce illegible (audio)
: impossible or very hard to read
illegible handwriting
illegibly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on illegible

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ