in·​de·​fen·​si·​ble ˌin-di-ˈfen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce indefensible (audio)
: incapable of being maintained as right or valid : untenable
: incapable of being justified or excused : inexcusable
indefensible comments
: incapable of being protected against physical attack
indefensibly adverb

Examples of indefensible in a Sentence

The company adopted an indefensible position on the issue. His behavior is ethically indefensible. The city is in an indefensible location.
Recent Examples on the Web Murphy did not express an opinion about the line, but the attorney general of New Jersey, a confidant and direct appointee of her husband, submitted a remarkable letter to the judge, stating that the line was legally indefensible. E. Tammy Kim, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2024 Underneath the memes was always something a little bit gross and indefensible. Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic, 22 Mar. 2024 In oral arguments this week, Biden-administration defenses of its Covid-era policy of leaning on private entities to police public discourse appeared practically indefensible. Brent Skorup, National Review, 20 Mar. 2024 Rather than trying to defend the many indefensible parts of our past, history classes should acknowledge the essential humanity and many contributions of all Americans, especially those who have long been mischaracterized by textbooks. Jeff Raikes, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 The analytics back Campbell’s approach, so his decisions are not indefensible, but the end result certainly hurt the Lions’ chances of advancing to the Super Bowl. Jared Ramsey, Detroit Free Press, 29 Jan. 2024 Many Israelis argue that the country’s pre-1967 border, nine miles wide at its narrowest point, was indefensible. Roger Cohen, New York Times, 31 Jan. 2024 In his public statement, the governor makes no defense of his veto because his veto is indefensible. Adam Mathews, National Review, 5 Jan. 2024 Apparently her indefensible comments before Congress and plagiarism played no role. WSJ, 8 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'indefensible.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of indefensible was in 1529

Dictionary Entries Near indefensible

Cite this Entry

“Indefensible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​de·​fen·​si·​ble ˌin-di-ˈfen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce indefensible (audio)
: impossible to defend
an indefensible position

More from Merriam-Webster on indefensible

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