ungraspable

adjective

un·​grasp·​able ˌən-ˈgra-spə-bəl How to pronounce ungraspable (audio)
: not able to be grasped : not graspable
especially : not easily understood or imagined
That tree had witnessed the assaults of men in mail—how remote such a time seems, and how ungraspable is the fact that real men ever did fight in real armor! … Mark Twain
… students … sometimes recoil in stupefaction and dismay at their ungraspable complexity. William Plowden

Examples of ungraspable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One gazes into the geographical expanse of this place to try to grasp the ungraspable scale of things. Andrew Cockburn, Harper’s Magazine , 5 Jan. 2023 It’s a megagenre, something the poet-philosopher Timothy Morton might call a hyperobject, ungraspable in its ubiquity and scale. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, 13 Dec. 2022 The scope of something inexpressible, a mammoth, ungraspable intimation, had overtaken him. Greg Jackson, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2021 The ecological relationships that Darwin brings to our attention tell us of a world of bonds much more complex and ungraspable than had ever previously been supposed. Longreads, 23 Mar. 2021 The Internet of Things is an ungraspable future, particularly when the fact of a future for Earth at all sometimes sounds implausible. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 14 May 2020 The river itself was a standard-issue metaphor of time’s ungraspable flux and constancy. Wells Tower, Outside Online, 11 July 2018 The new volume, the first in English to bring together all seven of Machado’s story collections, illustrates both the refined pleasures and the somewhat ungraspable nature of his art. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 28 June 2018 The cascade of flickering, sometimes unreadable images is so unremitting, despite long stretches of an utterly blank screen, as to be nearly ungraspable. New York Times, 24 May 2018

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

1741, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ungraspable was in 1741

Dictionary Entries Near ungraspable

Cite this Entry

“Ungraspable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ungraspable. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

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