From Middle English wordles, equivalent to word + -less. Compare Dutch woordeloos (“speechless, inexpressible in words”), German wortlos (“silent, speechless”), Danish ordløs (“wordless”), Swedish ordlös (“wordless”), Icelandic orðlaus (“wordless, speechless”).
- Conveyed without the use of words; unspoken or unsaid.
- 2019 July 3, Jess Schwalb, “Red Line Rebellion”, in Jewish Currents:
- On any given Friday night at the Claremont Colleges, between 15 and 20 Jewish students gather to sing wordless melodies, dive into textual study of Talmud or James Baldwin, or hold workshops on antisemitism.
- Unable or unwilling to speak; dumb, silent or inarticulate.
- Synonym: speechless