Last modified on 24 May 2014, at 21:22

inenubilable

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From in- + Latin enubilare ‘make clear’ + -able.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ɪnɪˈnjuːbɪləbəl/

AdjectiveEdit

inenubilable (comparative more inenubilable, superlative most inenubilable)

  1. incapable of being cleared of clouds; unclear, indistinct, inexplicable
    • 1962: Our blue inenubilable Zembla, and the red-capped Steinmann, and the motorboat in the seacave — Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire
    • 1911: For there is nothing in England to be matched with what lurks in the vapours of these meadows, and in the shadows of these spires - that inenubilable spirit, spirit of Oxford. - Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson

Vladimir Nabokov may have intended to give inenubilable the opposite meaning to the Latin version. in the context he is referring to the mythical country of Zembla as being blue. if it were cloud-covered it would not be blue but gray. if it was cloudless, incapable of being made cloudy, it would be blue