Definition of ineffable
ineffabilityplay \(ˌ)i-ˌne-fə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
ineffablenessplay \(ˌ)i-ˈne-fə-bəl-nəs\ noun
ineffablyplay \(ˌ)i-ˈne-fə-blē\ adverb
ineffable was our Word of the Day on 12/04/2008. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of ineffable in a Sentence
an ineffable beauty descends upon the canyon as the sun begins to set
Recent Examples of ineffable from the Web
And that ineffable quality of style makes articles by British or American writers distinct, even in the absence of obvious shibboleths.
The British designer has made a career of transforming the ineffable cool of her countrywomen into something real girls can buy and wear.
The fact that such things do not happen anywhere else with anything approaching the same frequency—that too is the work of some ineffable mystery.
Even when he is mugged or breaks up with his girlfriend, the surface of incident is less important than the underlying, ineffable undertones of destiny and character.
This one’s another example of ineffable chemistry, as Corden goofs around with the band.
To the surprise and delight of researchers, that’s finally helping explain one of the mind’s most ineffable qualities: creativity.
Fawcett’s desire to fill in those spaces underscores a unique emotional experience cherished by every adventurer, that ineffable moment when the unmapped and unknown world reveals itself.
The change has altered his music in ways both quantifiable and more ineffable.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ineffable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Breaking Down The Roots of ineffable
Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirit, and filled me with ineffable sadness, wrote Frederick Douglass in his autobiography. Reading Douglass's words, it's easy to see that ineffable means "indescribable" or "unspeakable." And when we break down the word to its Latin roots, it's easy to see how those meanings came about. "Ineffable" comes from "ineffabilis," which joins the prefix in-, meaning "not," with the adjective effabilis, meaning "capable of being expressed." "Effabilis" comes from "effari" ("to speak out"), which in turn comes from ex- and fari ("to speak").
INEFFABLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ineffable for English Language Learners
: too great, powerful, beautiful, etc., to be described or expressed
Seen and Heard
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