in·​ex·​pli·​ca·​ble ˌi-nik-ˈspli-kə-bəl How to pronounce inexplicable (audio) (ˌ)i-ˈnek-(ˌ)spli- How to pronounce inexplicable (audio)
: incapable of being explained, interpreted, or accounted for
an inexplicable disappearance
ˌi-nik-ˌspli-kə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce inexplicable (audio)
ˌi-nik-ˈspli-kə-bəl-nəs How to pronounce inexplicable (audio)
ˌi-nik-ˈspli-kə-blē How to pronounce inexplicable (audio)

Example Sentences

He had a series of seemingly inexplicable accidents. an inexplicable desire for ice cream at two in the morning
Recent Examples on the Web The inexplicable writing choices, written by people who seem to have almost no grasp on how actual human beings behave. Erik Kain, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2023 My partner, for some inexplicable reason, does not love Paro. IEEE Spectrum, 13 Feb. 2023 But, unlike this gambit, which can feel inexplicable—Why mashed potatoes? Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, 28 Oct. 2022 Some of it is inexplicable: what deal with the devil did Pinterest make to get its largely useless results ranked so high? Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, 12 May 2023 Here was a creature that would choose its own inexplicable way. Hanya Yanagihara Kyoko Hamada, New York Times, 10 May 2023 Aaron also reviewed the sounds that specific blends of letters make —the oooh or uhh that oo can make, whether in cool or in book, for example, or the inexplicable silence of some consonants, like the gh in high. oregonlive, 26 Mar. 2023 The film explores the inexplicable love between a man and a woman with no memory of the past. Patrick Frater, Variety, 7 Feb. 2023 Even more Daleks for some inexplicable reason!—has made what should be an infinite canvas feel particularly static and smotheringly small. WIRED, 24 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Latin inexplicabilis, from in- + explicabilis explicable

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of inexplicable was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near inexplicable

Cite this Entry

“Inexplicable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​ex·​pli·​ca·​ble ˌin-ik-ˈsplik-ə-bəl How to pronounce inexplicable (audio) (ˈ)in-ˈek-(ˌ)splik- How to pronounce inexplicable (audio)
: impossible to explain
an inexplicable mystery
ˌin-ik-ˌsplik-ə-ˈbil-ət-ē How to pronounce inexplicable (audio)
inexplicably adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on inexplicable

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