unthinkable

adjective
un·​think·​able | \ ˌən-ˈthiŋ-kə-bəl How to pronounce unthinkable (audio) \

Definition of unthinkable

1 : not capable of being grasped by the mind
2 : being contrary to what is reasonable, desirable, or probable : being out of the question

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Other Words from unthinkable

unthinkability \ ˌən-​ˌthiŋ-​kə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce unthinkability (audio) \ noun
unthinkably \ ˌən-​ˈthiŋ-​kə-​blē How to pronounce unthinkably (audio) \ adverb

Examples of unthinkable in a Sentence

to most people it seemed unthinkable that such a gentle man could be guilty of such awful crimes

Recent Examples on the Web

The United States is even exporting petroleum products and natural gas, which was unthinkable a few years ago. Thomas Heath, Washington Post, "Here’s why gasoline prices are dropping even as Middle East tensions escalate," 14 June 2019 For the college to go dark, Kresge President and CEO Rip Rapson told the Free Press last year, was unthinkable. Nancy Kaffer, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's 92-year-old Marygrove College to close in December," 12 June 2019 Even after 22 years in the paddock, and with a grueling schedule that would push anyone to the limit, Hernandez says life away from MotoGP is unthinkable. Jonathan Hawkins, CNN, "The power behind Marc Marquez's MotoGP throne," 11 June 2019 Our policies on Africa, too, now follow a common strategy, which a few years ago would have been unthinkable. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Is Germany Becoming Germany — Again?," 4 June 2019 But then, the unthinkable happens: Sevvy becomes the suspect in another murder. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Is 'The Fix' Based on a True Story? Here's the Truth Behind Marcia Clark's New Show," 18 Mar. 2019 The Duchess of Cambridge is a huge fan of doing the unthinkable by, *gasp*, wearing the same outfit more than once. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Just Rewore the Antonio Beradi Dress From Her First Ever Public Event With Prince Harry," 30 Oct. 2018 The scale of this problem is unthinkable—there are at this moment 700 million women alive who were married as children. Darren Walker, Town & Country, "Princess Mabel of the Netherlands Has Devoted Herself to Ending the Scourge of Child Marriage," 17 Jan. 2017 Such a movie would have been unthinkable in the years after Sept. 11. Jake Coyle, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘Skyscraper’ delivers stunts, dumb summer fun," 12 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for unthinkable

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for unthinkable

The first known use of unthinkable was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for unthinkable

unthinkable

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of unthinkable

: impossible to imagine or believe : too bad or shocking to be thought of

unthinkable

adjective
un·​think·​able | \ ˌən-ˈthiŋ-kə-bəl How to pronounce unthinkable (audio) \

Kids Definition of unthinkable

: not to be thought of or considered as possible or reasonable “Impossible!” cried Mr. Wonka. “Unthinkable! … He could never be made into marshmallows!”— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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More from Merriam-Webster on unthinkable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unthinkable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unthinkable

Spanish Central: Translation of unthinkable

Nglish: Translation of unthinkable for Spanish Speakers

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