un·​in·​tel·​li·​gi·​ble | \ ˌən-in-ˈte-lə-jə-bəl How to pronounce unintelligible (audio) \

Definition of unintelligible

: unable to be understood or comprehended : not intelligible a song with unintelligible lyrics unintelligible jargon … including parenthetical translations of the words and phrases he knew would be unintelligible to contemporary readers.— John N. Green

Other Words from unintelligible

unintelligibility \ ˌən-​in-​ˌte-​lə-​jə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce unintelligible (audio) \ or less commonly unintelligibleness noun
unintelligibly \ ˌən-​in-​ˈte-​lə-​jə-​blē How to pronounce unintelligible (audio) \ adverb
muttering unintelligibly

Examples of unintelligible in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The result tends to be music with unintelligible emotional stakes. Jeff Ihaza, Rolling Stone, 12 Oct. 2021 King’s later radicalism is unintelligible without grasping how Malcolm, primarily through his influence on the Black Power generation, shaped King’s views on civil disobedience, white supremacy, and, above all, American imperialism. Brandon M. Terry, The New York Review of Books, 11 Mar. 2021 Back to the distractions presented by multiple IT audio difficulties made much of the ensuing debate confusing if not unintelligible. Steve Brozak, Forbes, 18 Sep. 2021 The researchers filtered out the high frequencies of the sound clips, which essentially rendered the clips unintelligible but left the tone of voice intact. al, 19 July 2021 Public Property Director Demo Roberts told the Globe that the drawings to range from simple pictures and phrases to unintelligible gang signs and symbols. BostonGlobe.com, 27 Aug. 2021 Ordaz, standing in the street near the front of his car, said something unintelligible to the deputies. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, 30 July 2021 The researchers filtered out the high frequencies of the sound clips, which essentially rendered the clips unintelligible but left the tone of voice intact. al, 19 July 2021 An unintelligible conversation between the two follows. Chris Boyette, CNN, 31 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unintelligible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of unintelligible

1664, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of unintelligible was in 1664

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unintelligible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unintelligible. Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for unintelligible



English Language Learners Definition of unintelligible

: impossible to understand : not intelligible


un·​in·​tel·​li·​gi·​ble | \ ˌən-in-ˈte-lə-jə-bəl \

Kids Definition of unintelligible

: impossible to understand unintelligible speech

More from Merriam-Webster on unintelligible

Nglish: Translation of unintelligible for Spanish Speakers


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