in·​de·​ci·​pher·​able | \ ˌin-di-ˈsī-f(ə-)rə-bəl How to pronounce indecipherable (audio) \

Definition of indecipherable

: incapable of being deciphered indecipherable writing an indecipherable message

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from indecipherable

indecipherably \ ˌin-​di-​ˈsī-​f(ə-​)rə-​blē How to pronounce indecipherably (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for indecipherable


illegible, undecipherable, unreadable


clean, decipherable, fair, legible, readable

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of indecipherable in a Sentence

His handwriting is almost indecipherable. after so many years the paper label in the drawer of the antique desk is indecipherable

Recent Examples on the Web

As of April 22, that is 11 straight days of essentially indecipherable Taylor Swift clues, and enough is enough. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift's Cryptic Social Media Clues Have Reached a Breaking Point," 23 Apr. 2019 Changes measured in millimeters sound indecipherable, the kind of tweaks only an engineer doing drag coefficient testing down to the twelfth decimal place wold notice. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "2019 Chevy Blazer Test Drive: What Happened When GM Tried To Make the Crossover Cool," 4 Feb. 2019 Confusing deadlines, indecipherable ballot measures and voter suppression tactics. Vera Papisova, Teen Vogue, "Midterms 2018: First-Time Voters Explain What They Learned This Election," 7 Nov. 2018 There’s English and then there’s the language my daughters speak, which is as indecipherable to me as the sounds of a rotary motor. Chris Erskine,, "A toast to New Orleans, the place it all began for us," 6 July 2018 The plot may be as indecipherable as The Big Sleep but the action is insane in this sixth installment of Mission: Impossible. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mission: Impossible — Fallout': Film Review," 12 July 2018 He and Escobar faced one another as if two spiraling spirits, summoning an array of voices — trills, gasps and twisting high and low notes into indecipherable languages. Jeffrey Fleishman,, "Voices of the City: Experimental vocalist Carmina Escobar uses her voice to explore herself and others," 29 Mar. 2018 The plot may be as indecipherable as The Big Sleep, but the action is insane in this sixth installment of Mission: Impossible. Aja Hoggatt,, "Critics are loving Mission: Impossible -- Fallout," 12 July 2018 The lyrics are indecipherable to everyone except the most devout Pantera-philes. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Vinnie Paul, hard-hitting drummer for heavy metal band Pantera, dies at 54," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indecipherable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of indecipherable

1802, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about indecipherable

Statistics for indecipherable

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for indecipherable

The first known use of indecipherable was in 1802

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for indecipherable



English Language Learners Definition of indecipherable

: impossible to read or understand : not decipherable

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on indecipherable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for indecipherable

Spanish Central: Translation of indecipherable

Nglish: Translation of indecipherable for Spanish Speakers

Comments on indecipherable

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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