in·​com·​pre·​hen·​sion | \ (ˌ)in-ˌkäm-pri-ˈhen(t)-shən How to pronounce incomprehension (audio) \

Definition of incomprehension

: lack of comprehension or understanding

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Examples of incomprehension in a Sentence

She gave me a look of complete incomprehension. He viewed the situation with incomprehension.
Recent Examples on the Web In short, the relationship betrays exactly the mutual incomprehension that reigns between Pirandello’s characters. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "Characters in Search of a Conflict," 23 Feb. 2021 Like a savvy curator, Lehrer leads her audience from incomprehension to understanding, from innocence to experience, building a messy arc full of stalls and setbacks, repetitions and revelations. Kathleen Rooney, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Golem Girl: A Memoir,' by Riva Lehrer," 30 Oct. 2020 Taubes committed suicide shortly after the book was published to withering reviews; Hugh Kenner’s in the New York Times stands out still for its misogyny and willful incomprehension. Andrew Martin, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 15 Sep. 2020 China, unlike the Soviet Union, is able to offer a measure of wealth, vibrancy, and technological advancement—albeit not yet to the same level as the United States—while protected by a silk curtain of Western cultural and linguistic incomprehension. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "America’s Uniquely Humiliating Moment," 24 June 2020 Violent outbursts, incomprehension, disputes, panic attacks: Lockdown is a shock to many children with special needs, cut off from their friends and teachers, deprived of their reassuring routine. Sylvie Corbet,, "Special-needs families navigating lockdown without usual supports," 25 Apr. 2020 When Trump did in fact win, there was a moment of stunned incomprehension at this unprecedented intrusion of the real into the world on the other side of the screen. Hari Kunzru, The New York Review of Books, "For the Lulz," 10 Mar. 2020 These uncollegiate expressions of failure and incomprehension in Walker’s retellings reveal—like the border between her black cutout edges and her white backgrounds—something significant in the contrast. Zadie Smith, The New York Review of Books, "What Do We Want History to Do to Us?," 11 Feb. 2020 Hearing their halting, sometimes tearful attempts to recount the circumstances surrounding the assault suggests a level of incomprehension completely incompatible with a complex murder plot more characteristic of a violent, secretive military state. Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Assassins': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 26 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incomprehension.' 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 incomprehension

1605, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for incomprehension

Time Traveler

The first known use of incomprehension was in 1605

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Statistics for incomprehension

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Incomprehension.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of incomprehension

: lack of understanding

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