un·​speak·​able | \ ˌən-ˈspē-kə-bəl How to pronounce unspeakable (audio) \

Definition of unspeakable

1a : incapable of being expressed in words : unutterable
b : inexpressibly bad : horrendous unspeakable living conditions unspeakable evil
2 : that may not or cannot be spoken the bawdy thoughts that come into one's head — the unspeakable words— L. P. Smith unspeakable collections of consonants— Rosemary Jellis

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Other Words from unspeakable

unspeakably \ ˌən-​ˈspē-​kə-​blē How to pronounce unspeakably (audio) \ adverb

Examples of unspeakable in a Sentence

the unspeakable horror of war continually encountered unspeakable beauty in their travels through the Alps
Recent Examples on the Web Nick, a British native, was leaving his home in London for a business trip in Houston, while Diane was returning to her native Texas after a family vacation in the U.K. Then unspeakable tragedy struck. Nick Maslow, PEOPLE.com, "Husband and Wife Who Met While Stranded Because of 9/11 Reveal the Lesson of Their Love Story," 11 Sep. 2019 Since the beginning of this case, our hearts have been with the families of the 36 victims that died in this unspeakable tragedy. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "Ghost Ship trial: Max Harris walks out of jail after acquittal; Derick Almena remains jailed after mistrial in his case," 5 Sep. 2019 This act of violence resulted in an unspeakable tragedy for this family. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "Ga. Teen Strangled Sister to Death Over WiFi Password, Gets Life in Prison," 6 Aug. 2019 Yes — people owned slaves, and yes, that is an unspeakable horror. Katherine Timpf, National Review, "The NBA’s PC Move Away from the Word ‘Owner’," 10 July 2019 The unspeakable tragedy of that night didn’t end there. Abigail Haworth, Marie Claire, "The Lost Daughters of Salerno," 1 July 2019 Women in Kashmir have suffered at the hands of the Indian Armed Forces in unspeakable terms. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "A Kashmiri Novelist on a State Under Siege," 16 Aug. 2019 In stark contrast to politicians tweeting out their intentions or calls to action, the religious communities of the places impacted are the real forces working to mend that which has been torn asunder by unspeakable violence. Kayla Bartsch, National Review, "In a Community Turned Upside Down by Tragedy, ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ Are Everything," 13 Aug. 2019 In ’69, the young people were viewing unspeakable horror. Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, "Riots, deaths, sexual assault: Maybe Woodstock was always a nightmare," 13 Aug. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for unspeakable

Last Updated

30 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for unspeakable

The first known use of unspeakable was in the 14th century

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How to pronounce unspeakable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unspeakable

: very bad or evil
: impossible to describe in words


un·​speak·​able | \ ˌən-ˈspē-kə-bəl How to pronounce unspeakable (audio) \

Kids Definition of unspeakable

1 : impossible to express in words unspeakable beauty
2 : extremely bad unspeakable conduct

Other Words from unspeakable

unspeakably \ -​blē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on unspeakable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unspeakable

Spanish Central: Translation of unspeakable

Nglish: Translation of unspeakable for Spanish Speakers

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