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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for unreadable



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of unreadable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But those technologies—like the magnetic tapes and floppy drives before them—are apt to become antiquated and unreadable when they are overtaken by new technology. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Scientists ‘program’ living bacteria to store data," 11 Jan. 2021 But WhatsApp’s encryption—which generally makes communications unreadable to others except for the sender and receiver—and other features have long prevented it from being as integrated into Facebook as Instagram has been. Jeff Horwitz, WSJ, "Break Up Facebook? It’s Complicated, Tech Experts Say.," 10 Dec. 2020 The vehicle is seen in a video recorded by someone who witnessed the incident, but the license place is unreadable. Mary Grace Granados, Dallas News, "After hit-and-run leaves two boys injured, Grapevine police ask for help identifying driver," 2 Dec. 2020 Officers stopped a vehicle driven by Anthony Miller, 36, with passenger Wendell Withers, 28, for operating a vehicle with unreadable tags at 5:45 p.m., the report said. Arkansas Online, "POLICE BEAT: Marvell man held in road-rage case," 28 Nov. 2020 The door and center armrests in front feel like hard rubber, the small LCD gauges in the dash are unreadable through polarized sunglasses, and the door pockets are tiny. Patrick Bedard, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2007 Compact Car Comparison," 18 Nov. 2020 For all the painting’s luminosity, the figures’ expressions are unreadable, their body language indecipherable. Colin B. Bailey, The New York Review of Books, "Suffering, Unfaltering Manet," 17 Nov. 2020 The white wall has black, unreadable scribbles all over it. Rebecca Curtis, The New Yorker, "Hansa and Gretyl and Piece of Shit," 9 Nov. 2020 The trouble was that many ballots were arriving without postmarks, or the marks were unreadable. Vanessa Swales, ProPublica, "With All Eyes on Wisconsin, Partisan Gridlock at State Elections Commission Frustrates Voters and Local Officials," 26 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of unreadable

circa 1655, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unreadable

Time Traveler for unreadable

Time Traveler

The first known use of unreadable was circa 1655

See more words from the same year

Statistics for unreadable

Last Updated

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unreadable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unreadable. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unreadable



English Language Learners Definition of unreadable

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

More from Merriam-Webster on unreadable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unreadable

Nglish: Translation of unreadable for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unreadable

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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