un·​club·​ba·​ble | \ ˌən-ˈklə-bə-bəl How to pronounce unclubbable (audio) \

Definition of unclubbable

Unclubbable Comes From a Well-Known Wordsmith

The word unclubbable dates to the 1760s, a time when lexicographer Samuel Johnson was still riding a wave of fame in the wake of the publication of his 1755 A Dictionary of the English Language. Johnson himself likely coined unclubbable. Earliest evidence of the word in use is from a 1764 (or thereabouts) entry in author Fanny Burney's diary, in which she quotes Johnson as using the word to describe a friend. Johnson likely also coined the unflattering descriptor's antonym, though years later: his biographer, James Boswell, reported that Johnson applied the word to Boswell himself. It was, however, Johnson to whom the term clubbable stuck. For Johnson, a person's clubbability was likely determined by how well the person might do in a very particular club: "The Club"—later known as "The Literary Club"—established by Johnson and the artist Joshua Reynolds in 1764.

Examples of unclubbable in a Sentence

for such a decidedly unclubbable man, politics was an odd career choice

First Known Use of unclubbable

circa 1764, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of unclubbable was circa 1764

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Cite this Entry

“Unclubbable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unclubbable. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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