un·​ob·​tain·​able | \ ˌən-əb-ˈtā-nə-bəl How to pronounce unobtainable (audio) , -äb- \

Definition of unobtainable

: not capable of being obtained : not available : not obtainable an unobtainable objective a gem so rare as to be virtually unobtainable

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of unobtainable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the ackee and saltfish is unique Insert the common lament that fresh ackee and saltfish is unobtainable in the United States, due to the FDA’s ban on Jamaica’s national fruit. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "South Phoenix has a new destination for Jamaican food. Here's what on the Island Vybz menu," 24 Feb. 2020 This is reality for many people struggling with a parent, sibling, or other relative suffering from chronic illness, and when paired with the unfortunate reality of being undocumented, receiving medical care becomes a distant, unobtainable dream. Denisce Palacios, Teen Vogue, "2020 Candidates Are Failing to Connect With Latinx Voters," 24 Feb. 2020 For the first time this season, Xavier went on the road and proved that putting together 40 minutes of toughness isn't unobtainable. Adam Baum,, "From slump to star: Tyrique Jones comes alive in Xavier basketball's road win at TCU," 23 Dec. 2019 But an IndyCar is on another level of difficulty—open wheel, single-seat, and with an unobtainable engine that that's actually a piece of the chassis itself. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "One Man's Quest To Make a Street-Legal IndyCar," 20 Oct. 2019 The first was Tom Ford, a designer whose runways are routinely filled with near-unobtainable glamour. Los Angeles Times, "New York Fashion Week: 5 spring and summer 2020 trends you should know about," 13 Sep. 2019 The push-and-pull between Yanis and everyone else, including his own boss, occupies most of the movie, growing increasingly Kafkaesque as a real solution appears just around the corner and then suddenly becomes unobtainable. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Adults in the Room': Film Review | Venice 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 After sodium thiopental became unobtainable, states began experimenting with alternatives. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "We Are All Executioners Now," 25 July 2019 Certain motifs on some of the objects are not Egyptian, and the presence of silver—unobtainable in Egypt—suggests extensive trade with Greece or kingdoms in Anatolia. Irene Cordón, National Geographic, "How Egypt’s ancient city of divine cats was rediscovered," 7 May 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of unobtainable

1653, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unobtainable

Time Traveler for unobtainable

Time Traveler

The first known use of unobtainable was in 1653

See more words from the same year

Statistics for unobtainable

Last Updated

10 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unobtainable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unobtainable


How to pronounce unobtainable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unobtainable

: not possible to get or achieve

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on unobtainable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unobtainable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unobtainable

Spanish Central: Translation of unobtainable

Nglish: Translation of unobtainable for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unobtainable

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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