untouchable

adjective
un·​touch·​able | \ˌən-ˈtə-chə-bəl \

Definition of untouchable 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : forbidden to the touch : not to be handled

b : exempt from criticism or control

2 : lying beyond reach

3 : disagreeable or defiling to the touch

untouchable

noun

Definition of untouchable (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is untouchable specifically : a member of a large formerly segregated hereditary group in India having in traditional Hindu belief the quality of defiling by contact a member of a higher caste

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Examples of untouchable in a Sentence

Adjective

The mayor believed that he was untouchable and not subject to the same laws as the rest of us. The team's record was untouchable.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Musk has seemed almost untouchable at Tesla, despite his public missteps and erratic behavior and the company’s own problems related to production and cash burn. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Elon Musk is out as Tesla chairman," 30 Sep. 2018 Her legacy is untouchable and will live on forever. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "18 Powerful Tributes to Aretha Franklin’s Music," 16 Aug. 2018 Including the Marlins’ 2-0 loss to the Phillies on Friday night in front of 8,090, Chen has been nearly untouchable in Miami. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Wei-Yin Chen dominant again at home, but Marlins lose to Phillies," 14 July 2018 Many once untouchable administrators have been banned from the sport, including longtime FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Ken Bensinger, Time, "Why the Most Compelling Drama at the World Cup Might Be Off the Field," 14 June 2018 The seminary president is nearly untouchable among Southern Baptists, who revere him for decades of denominational leadership. Jonathan Merritt, Washington Post, "In a #Metoo moment, will Southern Baptists hold powerful men accountable?," 30 Apr. 2018 Lolla had appeared so untouchable that even this modest slowdown felt like a dire harbinger—if its dominance was weakening, even incrementally, what would happen to Chicago festivals with less clout? Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Does Chicago have too many music festivals?," 30 May 2018 Factories that pollute but also generate tax revenue and jobs were seen as untouchable, and inspectors from the Ministry of Environmental Protection appeared impotent. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "Beijing wins battle for blue skies — but the poor are paying a price," 13 Jan. 2018 Under such a scenario, the only untouchable player would likely be center Andre Drummond, who is having a resurgent season. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Avery Bradley on trade talks: The Pistons should serve best interests," 29 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Many of the crimes against women and children have also been hate crimes against Dalits (untouchables) and minorities, argues Kavita Krishnan, secretary of All India Progressive Women's Association. Sam Kiley, CNN, "How a child rape revealed the problems facing modern India," 17 May 2018 But some of the village’s poorest residents — former untouchables — were given new connections in January after living for decades in darkness. Vidhi Doshi, Washington Post, "Every village in India now has electricity. But millions still live in darkness.," 30 Apr. 2018 Since the constitution banned discrimination against untouchables 70 years ago, and with quotas for state schools, jobs and elected offices giving Dalits a leg up, gaps in education, income and health have steadily shrunk. The Economist, "UnconscionableLow-caste Indians are better off than ever—but that’s not saying much," 25 Jan. 2018 Dalits are what India’s former untouchables now call themselves. Mihir Sharma, Bloomberg.com, "India Needs Dramatic Growth, and Modi’s Not Helping," 7 Feb. 2018 Once known as untouchables and reviled as ritually unclean, this sixth of India’s population has never been more integrated. The Economist, "UnconscionableLow-caste Indians are better off than ever—but that’s not saying much," 25 Jan. 2018 Uncertainty has prompted some concern over the military and highly trained group of untouchables policing local populations. Aaron Nelsen, San Antonio Express-News, "Mexican rights commission finds marines and security detail likely responsible for 2014 killing of Texas siblings," 19 Jan. 2018 The rest of the roster has a couple of untouchables (catcher Buster Posey and ace Madison Bumgarner), a few decent performers who aren’t going anywhere, plus a handful of aging busts. SI.com, "San Francisco Giants," 25 July 2017 The coach tabbed by CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd as just one of 12 untouchables among the 130 guiding major programs in America expected to discuss what a transfer quarterback from Rutgers does and doesn’t mean. Bryce Miller, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Long, Aztecs smartly sneak peek down college football road," 20 July 2017

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

Adjective

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1909, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near untouchable

untooth

untorn

untouchability

untouchable

untouched

untoward

untrace

Statistics for untouchable

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for untouchable

The first known use of untouchable was in 1607

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More Definitions for untouchable

untouchable

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of untouchable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: too powerful or important to be punished, criticized, etc.

: too good to be equaled by anyone else

untouchable

noun

English Language Learners Definition of untouchable (Entry 2 of 2)

: a member of the lowest social class in India

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