English edit

Etymology edit

From in- +‎ describe +‎ -able.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ɪndɪˈskɹaɪbəbl̩/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: in‧de‧scri‧ba‧ble

Adjective edit

indescribable (comparative more indescribable, superlative most indescribable)

  1. Impossible (or very difficult) to describe.
    He proved it with indescribable mathematics.
    • 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, →OCLC:
      Presently the men set up the melancholy little chant that I had heard on the first night when we were captured in the whaleboat, and the effect produced by their voices was very curious, and quite indescribable.
    • 1906 January–October, Joseph Conrad, chapter II, in The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale, London: Methuen & Co., [], published 1907, →OCLC; The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale (Collection of British Authors; 3995), copyright edition, Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1907, →OCLC, page 15:
      But there was also about him an indescribable air which no mechanic could have acquired in the practice of his handicraft however dishonestly exercised: [...] the air of moral nihilism common to keepers of gambling hells and disorderly houses; [...]
  2. Exceeding all description.
    Our hotel had an indescribable view of the Bay of Naples.
    • 1838, [Letitia Elizabeth] Landon (indicated as editor), chapter XIV, in Duty and Inclination: [], volume III, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 182:
      The time was when, had such an idea entered her mind, it would have been torture indescribable and agony the most intense; but then, subdued as was the usual warmth of her temperament, an awful suspension seemed to hold her feelings in control.

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