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 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 The names of the elements have long been a source of contention and incomprehension. Neima Jahromi, The New Yorker, "The Histories Hidden in the Periodic Table," 27 Dec. 2019 Department detox The problem with Trump goes far beyond the president’s own vast incomprehension of foreign affairs. James W. Carden, Quartz, "Elizabeth Warren has a plan to fix the State Department and no one wants to talk about it," 13 Sep. 2019 Rivas offers an on-the-edge performance that makes Luisa’s nervousness hard to watch, while d’Elia’s almost otherworldly clear eyes express worlds of incomprehension and rebellion. Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Sleepwalkers' ('Los Sonámbulos'): Film Review | TIFF 2019," 8 Sep. 2019 This pratfall exposed Pei’s incomprehension of popular culture and his inability to express rebellious music architecturally and instead invested the design with the gravitas of a national memorial. Martin Filler, The New York Review of Books, "I.M. Pei: Establishment Modernism Lite," 24 May 2019 No, the real problems arise when Ozark stages so many of its scenes in ways that downplay visual contrast, leaving almost everything shrouded in shadow, to the point of genuine incomprehension. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Ozark’s muddy season 2, explained in 11 incomprehensible screenshots," 1 Sep. 2018 The comradeship of men at arms becomes a refuge from the incomprehension of family. The Economist, "An American marine’s eloquent memoir," 1 Mar. 2018 Some of us were unimpressed, while others snarled at the unimpressed’s incomprehension of Roupenian’s achievement. Josephine Livingstone, New Republic, "“Cat Person” and the New Universe of Literary Criticism," 12 Dec. 2017

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

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Incomprehension.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce incomprehension (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of incomprehension

: lack of understanding

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Spanish Central: Translation of incomprehension

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