in·​de·​fen·​si·​ble | \ ˌin-di-ˈfen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce indefensible (audio) \

Definition of indefensible

1a : incapable of being maintained as right or valid : untenable
b : incapable of being justified or excused : inexcusable indefensible comments
2 : incapable of being protected against physical attack

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Other Words from indefensible

indefensibility \ ˌin-​di-​ˌfen(t)-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce indefensible (audio) \ noun
indefensibly \ ˌin-​di-​ˈfen(t)-​sə-​blē How to pronounce indefensible (audio) \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web With a majority vote, Democrats could force Republicans to defend the indefensible. John Avlon, CNN, 28 May 2021 For increasing numbers of its critics, Israel is incapable of acting in honorable self-defense because its very existence is indefensible. Yossi Klein Halevi, Star Tribune, 25 May 2021 But litigation forces Fox News to defend its indefensible programming in a public forum. Washington Post, 21 May 2021 By the second week of March, 2020, the racing industry seemed to be reeling, indefensible. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, 15 May 2021 Jake Tapper depicting the true story of a squad of army infantrymen assigned to a seemingly indefensible base during the Afghanistan War. Matt Schifrin, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2021 Some states and localities are making changes that make sense, and the Chauvin case was an example of police leaders doing more to demand that police face consequences for indefensible actions. Jay Ambrose Tribune News Service, Star Tribune, 26 Apr. 2021 In his rebuttal, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina attempted to defend the indefensible by praising the GOP's assault on voting rights in Georgia. CNN, 28 Apr. 2021 After Sandy, the indefensible included extensive failures in the electrical grid. New York Times, 13 Apr. 2021

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

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for indefensible

Time Traveler

The first known use of indefensible was in 1529

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Statistics for indefensible

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indefensible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for indefensible



English Language Learners Definition of indefensible

: not able to be thought of as good or acceptable
: not able to be kept safe from damage or harm


in·​de·​fen·​si·​ble | \ ˌin-di-ˈfen-sə-bəl How to pronounce indefensible (audio) \

Kids Definition of indefensible

: impossible to defend Your rudeness is indefensible.

More from Merriam-Webster on indefensible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for indefensible

Nglish: Translation of indefensible for Spanish Speakers


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