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 new follower accounts seem to be named using long, systematic strings of unintelligible consonants and numbers. Wired, 20 July 2022 Now for the heartbreaker — Neil says the song’s unintelligible vocals are meant to represent his son with cerebral-palsy’s inability to communicate. Liza Lentini, SPIN, 20 July 2022 Lola greets her two leading men with a three-inch-thick binder of shooting notes, composed of unintelligible scribbling, Polaroids of naked body parts and other documents that look like they were rescued from the trash. Michael O'sullivan, Washington Post, 21 June 2022 Modern physics, to most of us, is unintelligible, but who cares when physics gives us smartphones and hydrogen bombs? John Horgan, Scientific American, 7 July 2022 The responses are both shocking and unintelligible. Abigail Anthony, National Review, 14 June 2022 Kelsey McCowan Heilman, staff attorney for the Oregon Law Center, said the notices are cluttered with legal jargon and are frequently unintelligible. oregonlive, 9 June 2022 The group talked quietly, but the audio was unintelligible. Robert Legare, CBS News, 7 June 2022 With Anne’s rising despair, her surroundings grow blurry, the ambient sound increasingly unintelligible. Bonnie Johnson, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 See More

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.

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

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unintelligible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unintelligible. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for unintelligible


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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