un·​touch·​able | \ ˌən-ˈtə-chə-bəl How to pronounce untouchable (audio) \

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


plural untouchables

Definition of untouchable (Entry 2 of 2)

: someone or something that is untouchable … so Frey moved Keith Moreland from right-field to third base and benched Ron Cey temporarily, while Green threatened to trade heretofore untouchables.— Peter Gammons specifically, dated, offensive : a member of the lowest class in the traditional Hindu social hierarchy having in traditional Hindu belief the quality of defiling by contact a member of a higher caste : dalit

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 Jordan James will have a hard time breaking through as a true freshman, but nobody ahead of him has so proven themselves as to be untouchable. oregonlive, 5 Aug. 2022 Following the invasion, oil prices skyrocketed as traders began to see Russian crude exports as untouchable. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 15 Mar. 2022 But if part-time payrolls are already thin and full-time payrolls are untouchable, where will the adaptation come from? Daniel Altman, Forbes, 12 Aug. 2022 At the Texas Class 6A state championships, Cook was untouchable. USA TODAY, 1 Aug. 2022 Longtime residents say that’s just the way things work in Everett, where certain influential people and their families are viewed as untouchable. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 28 May 2022 Religions generally regard sacred objects as untouchable. Samuel L. Perry, Time, 25 May 2022 The co-hosts have been covering Jones since 2017, watching his transformation from a seemingly untouchable figure to one that is now in serious legal and financial jeopardy. Ramishah Maruf, CNN, 7 Aug. 2022 Bright pink against only the bluest of seas is an untouchable combo for the summer season. ELLE, 5 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sure, but then again so was the Heat insistence that the team’s protection of its youth made Herro, Robinson and even Precious Achiuwa untouchable. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, 30 Mar. 2021 Virus piles on the pain for India's 'untouchables' India's caste system was officially abolished in 1950, but the 2,000-year-old social system imposed on people by birth still exists in many aspects of life. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, 16 Apr. 2020 The untouchables Lam’s continuing refusal to set up an independent inquiry has raised questions as to whether the government has ultimate authority over the police force in the wake of the territory’s return to China. Mary Hui, Quartz, 11 Dec. 2019 Apple TV+ has reportedly sunk at least $1 billion — and possibly $6 billion — into its original content, signing untouchables like Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams as production heavyweights. Los Angeles Times, 10 Oct. 2019 Two hundred million of them are Dalit, or what used to be called untouchables. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 6 Oct. 2019 The relative increase in the Muslim population that the census had established, and the uncertain status of untouchables and tribal groups as Hindus for enumeration purposes made the definition of a Hindu all the more critical. Vikram Sampath, Quartz India, 20 Aug. 2019 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, 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, 30 Apr. 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of untouchable


1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1909, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of untouchable was in 1607

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Untouchable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/untouchable. Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on untouchable

Nglish: Translation of untouchable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about untouchable


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