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

The document, one of two from Amerbach’s collection, features mirror writing on both sides, rendering it largely illegible. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Researchers Unlock Secrets of Basel Papyrus," 13 July 2018 However, the menu changes daily, written in near-illegible notebooks, so best to ask for the verbal version. Bon Appetit, "Momofuku Ko," 25 June 2018 The ground, painted over a collage of old newspaper clippings, appears strewn with illegible print. Marisha Pessl, New York Times, "Screams. Tears. Meltdowns. New Picture Books Let Bad Behavior Fly, With Just a Bit of Advice," 6 June 2018 The biggest cartographic challenge was figuring out how to pack more names onto the map without making it illegible or too big to comfortably use. Greg Miller, National Geographic, "Explore 100 Years of National Geographic Pull-Out Maps," 15 May 2018 Police stopped Sommer near the intersection of Lake Cook and Pfingsten roads after observing her license plate was illegible because of a tinted cover. Steve Sadin,, "Blotter: DUI charges in Deerfield and Riverwoods," 7 May 2018 The date is filled in, and the illegible name of some pesticide. Elisa Albert, Longreads, "O, Small-bany!," 7 May 2018 Sponsor is not responsible for incomplete, incomprehensible, illegible, or out-of-service contact information. Houston Chronicle, "Houston Chronicle 'Grocery Giveaway' Official Rules," 28 Feb. 2018 Many people just scribble an illegible signature that the business never bothers to check. Fox News, "Credit card companies eliminating signature requirements," 4 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

27 Feb 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).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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