un·​read·​able | \ ˌən-ˈrē-də-bəl How to pronounce unreadable (audio) \

Definition of unreadable

: not readable: such as
a : not decipherable : illegible unreadable handwriting
b : impossible to read and understand : incomprehensible … a flawed, unreadable, misleading bill that garnered support based on propaganda and clever—but false—talking points.— Marilyn M. Singleton
c : impossible to interpret The expression on her face was unreadable.
d : not enjoyable or interesting enough to engage the reader an unreadable novel

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Examples of unreadable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And, sooner or later, both lead us to the unreadable, the boundary at which the unintelligible begins. Karl Ove Knausgaard, The New Yorker, "The Slowness of Literature and the Shadow of Knowledge," 6 Nov. 2019 At the Fort Wayne clinic, many records were severely damaged by water and unreadable. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "Abortion doctor kept fetal remains in moldy boxes amid piles of rubbish, report says," 31 Dec. 2019 Belém stared down at the hosemen, his expression unreadable. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "Blood Gold in the Brazilian Rain Forest," 4 Nov. 2019 The book was almost unreadable, haphazardly capitalized, lacking punctuation and written in florid, apocalyptic prose. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "The Jungle Prince of Delhi," 22 Nov. 2019 An Alvin woman, 28, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop for an unreadable temporary license plate Oct. 28 in the 1300 block of West Parkwood Avenue, police said. Jennifer James, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood police investigate 3 attempted thefts at ATMs," 8 Nov. 2019 The serial number on the side of the gun was scratched and unreadable, police said. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville man threatened to kill 'everyone that worked' with him at warehouse, police say," 29 Oct. 2019 When archaeologists uncovered the scroll and many of its companions in the 18th century, the fragile rolls were charred and mostly unreadable. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Hidden writing revealed on ancient scroll buried in same ash as Pompeii," 4 Oct. 2019 Officers observed a motor vehicle with an unreadable rear license plate. BostonGlobe.com, "Police conducted a traffic stop and spoke to Bloodworth, the statement said.," 27 Sep. 2019

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

circa 1655, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unreadable

Time Traveler

The first known use of unreadable was circa 1655

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Statistics for unreadable

Last Updated

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unreadable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unreadable. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for unreadable


How to pronounce unreadable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unreadable

: unable to be read or understood
: too difficult, badly written, etc., to be worth reading

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More from Merriam-Webster on unreadable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unreadable

Spanish Central: Translation of unreadable

Nglish: Translation of unreadable for Spanish Speakers

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