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

Definition of unclubbable

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unclubbable

Time Traveler for unclubbable

Time Traveler

The first known use of unclubbable was circa 1764

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about unclubbable

Statistics for unclubbable

Cite this Entry

“Unclubbable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unclubbable. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on unclubbable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unclubbable

Comments on unclubbable

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!