Definition of inscrutable in English:



  • Impossible to understand or interpret.

    ‘Guy looked blankly inscrutable’
    • ‘Their musical and personal relationship is at the same time completely open and completely inscrutable.’
    • ‘Her inscrutable silence has become a canvas for projected social anxieties.’
    • ‘Now it is said that the inscrutable coach will have to live up to the demands placed on him by the billion people living within a fanatical football nation.’
    • ‘There is something inscrutable about the dragon, something that cannot be understood.’
    • ‘Newspaper stories see the light of day for all sorts of strange and inscrutable reasons.’
    • ‘He understands that the poem is foremost a form of communication, and fails if it becomes inscrutable.’
    • ‘He was oddly inscrutable, like he knew what all the questions were.’
    • ‘He just smiles his inscrutable smile and carries on clipping.’
    • ‘But at night when we're on the sofa he sees the inscrutable stories flickering on the box in the corner.’
    • ‘The real danger is from the chaotic hatred between mortals that follows the wake of the enemy, not his inscrutable agenda.’
    • ‘She had a private meeting with Bertie, who was sympathetic but inscrutable.’
    • ‘He didn't know why the priests had ordered it built, they had their own inscrutable reasons, he didn't really care.’
    • ‘An inscrutable and incomparably powerful force permeates the Universe and binds it together.’
    • ‘I wonder if she's holding something back, so inscrutable does she seem at times.’
    • ‘In another brief appearance, the inscrutable South African was dispatched from the event with six holes to spare.’
    • ‘The relationship between artist and subject can be inscrutable.’
    • ‘In the inscrutable case, the overall truth about a state of affairs is not known by anyone.’
    • ‘Between them they come up with a tale that is occasionally engaging, often inscrutable, and in the end simplistic.’
    • ‘It is not some mysterious, inscrutable relation that beliefs bear to facts, whatever they might be.’
    • ‘It's like a compelling bad dream whose inscrutable images persist in the traumatised moments after waking.’
    enigmatic, unreadable, impenetrable, mysterious, impossible to interpret, cryptic
    mysterious, inexplicable, unexplainable, incomprehensible, beyond comprehension, beyond understanding, impossible to understand, unintelligible, impenetrable, unfathomable, fathomless, opaque, puzzling, perplexing, baffling, bewildering, confusing, abstruse, arcane, obscure
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Late Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin inscrutabilis, from in- ‘not’ + scrutari ‘to search’ (see scrutiny).