- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /(ˌ)ʌnˈʌt(ə)ɹəbl̩/, /(ˌ)ʌnˈʌtɹəbl̩/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌʌnˈʌtɚəb(ə)l/, [ˌʌnˈʌɾɚ.ɪ̈bl̩]
- Hyphenation: un‧ut‧ter‧a‧ble
- Not utterable; incapable of being physically spoken or voiced; unpronounceable.
- Incapable of being articulated or expressed; indescribable, inexpressible.
- Synonyms: ineffable, inutterable, unspeakable, (archaic, literary) utterless; see also Thesaurus:indescribable
- Antonyms: articulable, expressible, utterable; see also Thesaurus:describable
- unutterable anguish
- c. 1607–1621 (date written), [Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher, Philip Massinger], The Tragedy of Thierry King of France, and His Brother Theodoret. […], London: […] [Nicholas Okes] for Thomas Walkley, […], published 1621, →OCLC, Act II, scene i, signature E, recto:
- [H]e is Sir / The moſt vnutterable covvard, that ere nature / Bleſt vvith hard ſhoulders, vvhich vvere only giuen him, / To the ruine of baſtinados.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book XI”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC, lines 3–8:
- Prevenient Grace deſcending had remov'd / The ſtonie from thir hearts, and made new fleſh / Regenerat grow inſtead, that ſighs now breath'd / Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer / Inſpir'd, and wing'd for Heav'n with ſpeedier flight / Then loudeſt Oratorie: […]
- 1751, [Tobias] Smollett, “Peregrine is Summoned to Attend His Uncle; is More and More Hated by His Own Mother; Appeals to His Father, whose Condecension is Defeated by the Dominion of His Wife”, in The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle […], volumes (please specify |volume=I to IV), London: Harrison and Co., […], →OCLC, page 59, column 1:
- [H]e was careſſed by all the people in the neighbourhood; who, while they admired his accompliſhments, could not help pitying his infatuated mother, for being deprived of that unutterable delight which any other parent would have enjoyed in the contemplation of ſuch an amiable ſon.
- 1766, [Oliver Goldsmith], “Offences are Easily Pardoned where There is Love at Bottom”, in The Vicar of Wakefield: […], volume II, Salisbury, Wiltshire: […] B. Collins, for F[rancis] Newbery, […], →OCLC; reprinted London: Elliot Stock, 1885, →OCLC, pages 57–58:
- [M]y heart dilated with unutterable happineſs, when, to my amazement, the houſe was burſting out in a blaze of fire, and every apperture was red with conflagration!
- 1817 (date written), [Jane Austen], chapter XII, in Persuasion; published in Northanger Abbey: And Persuasion. […], volume III, London: John Murray, […], 20 December 1817 (indicated as 1818), →OCLC, page 264:
- [I]n this manner, Anne walking by her side, and Charles attending to his wife, they set forward, treading back with feelings unutterable, the ground, which so lately, so very lately, and so light of heart, they had passed along.
- 1849 May – 1850 November, Charles Dickens, “Somebody Turns Up”, in The Personal History of David Copperfield, London: Bradbury & Evans, […], published 1850, →OCLC, page 179:
- How often have I seen him, intent upon a match at marbles or pegtop, looking on with a face of unutterable interest, and hardly breathing at the critical times!
- 1880, Ouida [pseudonym; Maria Louise Ramé], chapter XVII, in Moths […], volume II, London: Chatto & Windus, […], →OCLC, page 242:
- As she turned her face upon Madame de Sonnaz with unutterable scorn and indignation on it, the elder woman did that homage to her beauty which a rival renders so reluctantly, but which is truer testimony to its power than all a lover's praise.
- 1964 December 11, Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Lecture by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, Oslo, Norway, December 11, 1964, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Row, published 1965, →OCLC, page 1:
- Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.
- 1967, Ambrose Bierce, “Abacus”, in Ernest Jerome Hopkins, editor, The Enlarged Devil’s Dictionary […], Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, →OCLC, page 1:
- Abacus, n. In architecture, the upper part of a column, upon which, in all good architecture, sits the thoughtful stork pondering unutterable things.
- Not allowed to be spoken; taboo, unspeakable.
- 1706, I[saac] Watts, “To the Memory of the Reverend Mr. Tho[mas] Gouge, who Died January 8. 1699⁄700”, in Horæ Lyricæ. Poems, Chiefly of the Lyric Kind. […], London: […] S. and D. Bridge, for John Lawrence […], →OCLC, book II (Odes, Elegies and Epistles, &c. Sacred to Vertue, Loyalty and Friendship), stanza VI, page 253:
- Hovv oft the humble Scholar came, / And to your Songs he rais'd his Ears / To learn the Unutterable Name, / To view the Eternal Baſe that bears / The Nevv Creations Frame.
- (figuratively) Extremely bad or objectionable; unspeakable.
Derived terms edit
Related terms edit
not utterable; incapable of being physically spoken or voiced — see also unpronounceable
extremely bad or objectionable — see also unspeakable
unutterable (plural unutterables)
- Something which is unutterable (incapable of being physically spoken, incapable of being articulated or expressed, etc.).
Derived terms edit
- unutterables (plural noun)
something which is unutterable