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 indefensibility (audio) \ noun
indefensibly \ ˌin-​di-​ˈfen(t)-​sə-​blē How to pronounce indefensibly (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

To be clear, throwing something at any performer onstage is straight-up disrespectful and indefensible—no matter what the intention. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Not OK: Someone Threw a Lemon at Ariana Grande During Her Coachella Set Last Night," 22 Apr. 2019 The Democrats did this on purpose to try to muddy the waters, and to defend the indefensible. Fox News, "Media malign Trump Europe trip," 15 July 2018 Since Trump has taken office, elected Republicans have bent backward to defend the president, even in his most indefensible moments. Tara Golshan, Vox, "2018 Republican nominees don’t want to talk about Trump," 20 Aug. 2018 The history of the portrayal of lesbians and gay men in mainstream cinema is politically indefensible and aesthetically revolting. New York Times, "Gaysploitation Upends the Stereotypes That Make Us Wince," 1 June 2018 Gunn’s tweets, many of which were about molestation or pedophilia, were indefensible. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "The year of deleted tweets," 27 Dec. 2018 But defending what until now has seemed indefensible has been part of supporting Trump since the earliest days of his campaign. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "Trump loyalists rush to defend the indefensible — and get left holding the bag," 12 Jan. 2018 The loss of Petersburg would render Richmond indefensible and, Grant hoped, lure Lee into a final fight on ground of Grant’s choosing. Peter Cozzens, WSJ, "‘A Campaign of Giants’ Review: A Long War’s Final Fight," 8 Aug. 2018 This would have been indefensible under any circumstances, but the lapse is especially glaring given that Director Comey was privately telling President Trump and congressional leaders that Trump himself was not a suspect. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "‘Delegitimizing’ Mueller? Don’t Blame the Nunes Memo," 7 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for indefensible

Last Updated

7 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for indefensible

The first known use of indefensible was in 1529

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on indefensible

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with indefensible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for indefensible

Spanish Central: Translation of indefensible

Nglish: Translation of indefensible for Spanish Speakers

Comments on indefensible

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


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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