AskDefine | Define unspeakable

Dictionary Definition

unspeakable adj
1 defying expression or description; "indefinable yearnings"; "indescribable beauty"; "ineffable ecstasy"; "inexpressible anguish"; "unspeakable happiness"; "unutterable contempt"; "a thing of untellable splendor" [syn: indefinable, indescribable, ineffable, untellable, unutterable]
2 exceptionally bad or displeasing; "atrocious taste"; "abominable workmanship"; "an awful voice"; "dreadful manners"; "a painful performance"; "terrible handwriting"; "an unspeakable odor came sweeping into the room" [syn: atrocious, abominable, awful, dreadful, painful, terrible]
3 too sacred to be uttered; "the ineffable name of the Deity" [syn: ineffable, unnameable, unutterable]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Adjective

  1. Incapable of being spoken or uttered; unutterable; ineffable; inexpressible.
  2. Unfit or not permitted to be spoken or described.
    • 1916, James Joyce, A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man, ch. 3,
      The miser will remember his hoard of gold, the robber his ill-gotten wealth, the angry and revengeful and merciless murderers their deeds of blood and violence in which they revelled, the impure and adulterous the unspeakable and filthy pleasures in which they delighted.
  3. Extremely bad or objectionable.
    an unspeakable fool
    an unspeakable play
    • 1926, H.P. Lovecraft, The Outsider,
      Yet to my horror I saw in its eaten-away and bone-revealing outlines a leering, abhorrent travesty on the human shape; and in its mouldy, disintegrating apparel an unspeakable quality that chilled me even more.

References

  • "unspeakable" in Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P)2007 Microsoft Corporation.
  • "unspeakable" in the Wordsmyth Dictionary-Thesaurus © Wordsmyth 2002.
  • "unspeakable" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press 2007.
  • "unspeakable" in Compact Oxford English Dictionary, © Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • "unspeakable" at Rhymezone © 2006 Datamuse.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.

Extensive Definition

Unspeakable may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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