Definition of insoluble in English:



  • 1Impossible to solve.

    ‘the problem is not insoluble’
    • ‘He promises that there are no insoluble puzzles in the story - if you pay attention, Primer eventually gives up all its ghosts.’
    • ‘But therein lay a seemingly insoluble dilemma: that way - the only way - did not seem a possible way.’
    • ‘Racism in our country is a situation which is still a very difficult one, but not insoluble.’
    • ‘There were no bad endings, no insoluble questions.’
    • ‘The prime minister faces a seemingly insoluble dilemma.’
    • ‘With a bit of tweaking, we can translate this as: the architecture of our symbolic systems runs into insoluble difficulties at the edges.’
    • ‘There is a dilemma here, but it is not insoluble.’
    • ‘Before the Jubilee the dilemma may have looked insoluble.’
    • ‘Is it good enough in this day and age to accept it as an insoluble problem and allow it to continue?’
    • ‘Sometimes, it seems insoluble and very frustrating for those of us who have to ask questions on both sides of the ledger.’
    • ‘The sneaky truth was that Loyd's puzzle was insoluble - something that contemporaneous mathematicians soon proved.’
    • ‘While we are bound to get the hang of such a new system soon, the nappy problems sound insoluble.’
    • ‘The whole affair still disturbs Barr who as an engineer is not averse to wrestling for long hours with a seemingly insoluble technical problem, but he really would like to move on.’
    • ‘Since this stand-off is logically insoluble, despair is indeed understandable.’
    • ‘There is no insoluble and eternal waste problem as with nuclear power.’
    • ‘The most immediate priorities facing her on the arts front are either insoluble or politically weighted.’
    • ‘Often it seems that Africa's problems are insoluble.’
    • ‘It's probably one of those insoluble mysteries, like what happened to the crew of the Marie Celeste, or where I put down my mug of tea.’
    • ‘His married life was dominated by an insoluble dilemma.’
    • ‘He also found there was no evidence that insoluble problems would be caused for the management of elections if the deposits requirement was not there.’
    unsolvable, insolvable, unable to be solved, without a solution, unanswerable, unresolvable
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  • 2(of a substance) incapable of being dissolved.

    ‘once dry, the paints become insoluble in water’
    • ‘Important pigments include inorganic oxides and insoluble salts, which are mechanically mixed in a coating material.’
    • ‘The resulting calcium carbonate is quite insoluble in water and sinks to the bottom.’
    • ‘Like all fatty acids stearic acid is insoluble in water, but is soluble in ether and hot alcohol.’
    • ‘The exact figures for wines vary slightly according to grape variety and region, but experience shows that about a half of the tartrate soluble in grape juice is insoluble in wine.’
    • ‘Bilirubin is difficult to excrete because internal hydrogen bonding makes it almost completely insoluble in water.’
    • ‘When the number of carbons is greater than 12, the materials are nearly insoluble in water.’
    • ‘They are generally insoluble in water, and dissolve in nonpolar solvents.’
    • ‘Because these vitamins are insoluble in water, they tend not to be lost in cooking.’
    • ‘The insoluble potassium perchlorate was removed by centrifugation at 500 g for 3 min.’
    • ‘Biological molecules that are insoluble in aqueous solutions and soluble in organic solvents are classified as lipids.’
    • ‘The compound nickel dimethylglyoxime looks like strawberry-pink lipstick, insoluble in water.’
    • ‘The calcite is an insoluble mineral, which upon death of the organisms sinks to the floor of the body of water and accumulates in the sediment.’
    • ‘The catalyst is mostly insoluble in this solvent at room temperature so subsequent cooling allowed them to precipitate it for recovery.’
    • ‘It runs into the gel, and always at the same size, but it's insoluble?’
    • ‘There it combines with carbon dioxide from the air to produce calcium carbonate (an insoluble material) and water.’
    • ‘The reaction of calcium ions with oxalic acid produces an insoluble solid, calcium oxalate.’
    • ‘When calcium and magnesium ions in the filtrate combine with phosphate radicals, either soluble or insoluble salts will form.’
    • ‘Copal is a general term for very hard, insoluble resins, where the polymer is usually cross-linked to form a tough matrix.’
    • ‘It is virtually insoluble in water, but it will dissolve in organic solvents.’
    • ‘The gums are insoluble in alcohol while the resins or oleo-resins will pass completely into solution.’
    not soluble, indissoluble, incapable of dissolving
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Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin insolubilis, from in- ‘not’ + solubilis (see soluble).