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

Other Words from unthinkable

unthinkability \ ˌən-​ˌthiŋ-​kə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce unthinkable (audio) \ noun
unthinkably \ ˌən-​ˈthiŋ-​kə-​blē How to pronounce unthinkable (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 Such an advance on Russia’s western flank would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago. Yuliya Talmazan, NBC News, 17 May 2022 As for the layout, open-concept was unthinkable during this period, says McClain. Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 17 May 2022 But giving up, not appearing at all, was unthinkable. Becca Andrews, The New Republic, 9 May 2022 Given the magnitude of the leak and the aggressiveness with which federal prosecutors have pursued high-profile leakers and journalists in recent years, a criminal investigation is not unthinkable, legal experts said. New York Times, 8 May 2022 The Nittany Lions’ season quickly went off the rails with an unthinkable loss to Illinois at home Oct. 23. Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2021 Monday against the Rays, the Red Sox absorbed an unthinkable loss. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2021 If grief has a sound, its source comes from a personal place found between the reality of unthinkable loss and the joy of remembering a unique life. al, 12 Aug. 2021 After the unthinkable human loss and almost total physical destruction, some wondered whether Minamisanriku would continue to exist as a town at all. Gavin Blair, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 Feb. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of unthinkable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unthinkable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unthinkable. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for unthinkable


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

More from Merriam-Webster on unthinkable

Nglish: Translation of unthinkable for Spanish Speakers


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