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 And then came the unthinkable: radio silence from West, once our most relentlessly outspoken star. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "Kanye West’s True Salvation on “Jesus Is King”," 27 Oct. 2019 Allen’s early success has put Carolina in position to think the unthinkable: trading Cam Newton. Adam Kilgore, The Denver Post, "The Year of the Backup QB has created some unexpected, major decisions for NFL teams," 19 Oct. 2019 Members of Alabama’s Congressional Delegation did the unthinkable. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al, "Alabama Congressional Delegation did the unthinkable," 16 Oct. 2019 For many of us, the idea of forgiving the person who took our sibling’s life would be unthinkable, let alone at the end of the murder trial. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Forgiveness: A powerful act," 13 Oct. 2019 Not unthinkable that Oregon State could be sitting on a 3-2 record after five games. John Canzano | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Canzano: 10 opinions on Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers and PSU Vikings," 15 Sep. 2019 Modern democratic politics is unthinkable without political parties. Guy-uriel E. Charles, Time, "SCOTUS's Ruling on Gerrymandering Endangers US Democracy," 11 July 2019 Someday Jagger will give out, or Richards will, as unthinkable as the latter may be. Marc Hirsh, BostonGlobe.com, "At Gillette, there’s no stopping the Rolling Stones," 8 July 2019 And perhaps more will be because of Whitehead’s searing reminder that what happened not long ago, and here, was not unthinkable. George Will, National Review, "The Nickel Boys: A Searing Reminder of What’s Not Unthinkable," 22 Aug. 2019

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

20 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for unthinkable

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

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More Definitions for unthinkable


How to pronounce unthinkable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unthinkable

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


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unthinkable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unthinkable

Spanish Central: Translation of unthinkable

Nglish: Translation of unthinkable for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unthinkable

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to speed up the process or progress of

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