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From un- (prefix meaning ‘not’) +‎ utterable.[1]


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /(ˌ)ʌnˈʌt(ə)ɹəbl̩/, /(ˌ)ʌnˈʌtɹəbl̩/
  • (file)
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˌʌnˈʌtɚəb(ə)l/, [ˌʌnˈʌɾɚ.ɪ̈bl̩]
  • Hyphenation: un‧ut‧ter‧a‧ble


unutterable (comparative more unutterable, superlative most unutterable)

  1. Not utterable; incapable of being physically spoken or voiced; unpronounceable.
    Antonyms: articulable, enunciable, expressible, pronounceable, sayable, utterable
  2. 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
  3. Not allowed to be spoken; taboo, unspeakable.
    Synonym: (rare) unsayable
    Antonyms: speakable, utterable
    • 1706, I[saac] Watts, “To the Memory of the Reverend Mr. Tho[mas] Gouge, who Died January 8. 1699700”, 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.
  4. (figuratively) Extremely bad or objectionable; unspeakable.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:bad
    Antonyms: see Thesaurus:good

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unutterable (plural unutterables)

  1. Something which is unutterable (incapable of being physically spoken, incapable of being articulated or expressed, etc.).

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ unutterable, adj. and n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021; “unutterable, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.