unsayable

adjective

un·​say·​able ˌən-ˈsā-ə-bəl How to pronounce unsayable (audio)
: not sayable : not easily expressed or related
also : not allowed to be said

Examples of unsayable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This was a composer tasked with saying the unsayable against the unspeakable. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2024 American literature took a while to say the unsayable. S. C. Cornell, The New Yorker, 9 Dec. 2023 With remarkable speed, however, the unsayable has become close to conventional wisdom. Michael Barnett, Foreign Affairs, 14 Apr. 2023 One senses that there’s an unsayable aspect to it. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 12 Oct. 2020 And thus stand up for the subconscious, for the unsaid and unsayable, for the historically and personally indigestible, for the unprettified, for the autonomy of an imagination that cannot escape history, and—more than anything else—for black freedom of expression itself. Zadie Smith, The New York Review of Books, 27 Feb. 2020 The emotional focus and intensity of her distinctive music is constantly overturned by her infectious quicksilver laugh and easy lightness of touch, coupled with her uncanny ability to hear and express the unsayable. Hilton Dresden, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Dec. 2022 But do efforts to make a word unsayable diminish its power or magnify it? New York Times, 5 Apr. 2022 When so much that’s unsayable now was carelessly said. . Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unsayable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1870, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unsayable was in 1870

Dictionary Entries Near unsayable

Cite this Entry

“Unsayable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsayable. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

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