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- (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, [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 1203314573, Act II, scene i:
- [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 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554, 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 […], volume I, London: Harrison and Co., […], published 1781, OCLC 316121541, 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 938500648; reprinted London: Elliot Stock, 1885, OCLC 21416084, 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 December, [Jane Austen], chapter XII, in Persuasion; published in Northanger Abbey: And Persuasion. […], volume III, London: John Murray, […], 1818, OCLC 318384910, 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 558196156, 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!
- 1850, Herman Melville, “The Last of the Jacket”, in White-Jacket; or, The World in a Man-of-War, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, publishers; London: Richard Bentley, published 1855, OCLC 41502660, page 456:
- An unutterable nausea oppressed me; I was conscious of gasping; there seemed no breath in my body.
- 1880, Ouida [pseudonym; Maria Louise Ramé], chapter XVII, in Moths […], volume II, London: Chatto & Windus, […], OCLC 1229720397, 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 78941, 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.
- 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 940088045, 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.
not utterable; incapable of being physically spoken or voiced — See also translations at unpronounceable
incapable of being articulated or expressed — See also translations at indescribable, inexpressible
extremely bad or objectionable — See also translations at unspeakable
unutterable (plural unutterables)
- Something which is unutterable (incapable of being physically spoken, incapable of being articulated or expressed, etc.).
- unutterables (plural noun)
something which is unutterable