think·​able ˈthiŋ-kə-bəl How to pronounce thinkable (audio)
: conceivably possible
a time when divorce was barely thinkable
: capable of being comprehended or reasoned about
the ultimate nature of Deity is scarcely thinkable
thinkableness noun
thinkably adverb

Examples of thinkable in a Sentence

They divorced during a time when that was barely thinkable.
Recent Examples on the Web But, prior to the decision, four conservative justices, including Roberts, signaled receptivity to considering the theory as entirely thinkable. Simon Lazarus, The New Republic, 16 Aug. 2023 The unthinkable is all too thinkable: a major conflict on European soil with the unpredictability, the combustibility, and the ultimate futility of an extended military clash. Michael Kimmage, The New Republic, 7 Feb. 2022 By the time construction began in 2019, the formerly unthinkable notion of shrinking the auditorium had become thinkable. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, 29 Sep. 2022 The demonstrations have at times also boldly called for China to return to the path of political liberalization that seemed at least thinkable, even openly discussable, under Mr. Jiang during the 1990s. Chris Buckley, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2022 That would have been unthinkable in early 2022, but war tends to make the unthinkable, thinkable. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 27 July 2022 The Girl From Plainville not only humanizes the characters at its center but brings you into the headspace that made such unthinkable actions feel thinkable. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 May 2022 The undercurrent to frantic diplomacy and waves of U.S. military deployments—thousands more troops dispatched to Europe, Patriot-missile batteries to Poland, and B-52 bombers flying over Central Europe—is the palpable fear that the unthinkable is now thinkable. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 10 Mar. 2022 God’s gifts are all that God bestows upon creation and to all people, regardless of any thinkable hierarchies of deservingness and faithfulness. Samuel Ernest, Longreads, 2 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'thinkable.' 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

1764, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of thinkable was in 1764

Dictionary Entries Near thinkable

Cite this Entry

“Thinkable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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