un·​name·​able | \ ˌən-ˈnā-mə-bəl How to pronounce unnameable (audio) \
variants: or less commonly unnamable

Definition of unnameable

: not worthy or capable to be given a name or identified by name : not nameable an unnameable quality … that unnamable and unmistakable terror was in her eyes …— Jack London He [Jim Morrison] had the unnameable thing that people will always be drawn to.— Marilyn Manson

Examples of unnameable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the course of the hunt itself is unnameable and uncontrollable, like coition. Roberto Calasso, Harper's Magazine, "Becoming Human," 30 Mar. 2020 For many readers, Ferrante’s Naples — its sentiments and social dynamics, its unrepentant naming of the previously unnameable — has made the world feel smaller. Washington Post, "Italians (mostly) love Elena Ferrante’s new novel. Here’s what Americans can expect.," 28 Jan. 2020 Her work scratched the magic of that unnameable place that aches & buoys the soul. Globe Correspondent, BostonGlobe.com, "Tweets of the Week: Mourning Toni Morrison, #OperationCleanSweep, 30-50 feral hogs," 9 Aug. 2019 In his early forties, and mired in an unnameable sadness, Rousseau turns to painting. María Gainza, Harper's magazine, "Both Sides Now," 10 May 2019 The sickly green illumination and starkly clinical setting of a 2009 Edmund Clark photograph are enough, on their own, to conjure bad dreams of Dr. Frankenstein’s unnameable offspring. Charles Desmarais, SFChronicle.com, "Summer exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery a monstrous affair," 6 July 2018 Occasionally, as is typical of Frankenthaler, elusive images seem to assert themselves and then subside into the abstract construction of unnameable hues. Karen Wilkin, WSJ, "‘No Rules: Helen Frankenthaler Woodcuts’ and ‘As in Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings’ Reviews: In the Restless Innovator’s Studio," 22 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unnameable.' 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 unnameable

1610, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of unnameable was in 1610

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Cite this Entry

“Unnameable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unnameable. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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