Definition of unmentionable in English:

unmentionable

adjective

  • Too embarrassing, offensive, or shocking to be spoken about.

    ‘the unmentionable subject of incontinence’
    • ‘With some trepidation that I might hear those two unmentionable words… ‘Tim Henman’, I asked Lewis's mother who was his tennis-playing idol.’
    • ‘In The Consequences of Love, ‘Every man has an unmentionable secret,’ and none is more elusive than that of the international businessman.’
    • ‘Plastic bags filled with unmentionable contents; old shoes; broken toys; twisted bits of wire and metal; old mattresses with their innards spilling out; all lie tangled in a sludge of human waste.’
    • ‘Bryan and I have been talking about baby timing for a while now, and my biggest concern - aside from the possibility of ending up with stitches in unmentionable places - was that we be completely settled somewhere first.’
    • ‘On this view beauty - to the extent that beauty, along with truth, has not been ejected into the dustbin of unmentionable ideas - really is in the eye of the beholder and nowhere else.’
    • ‘It made you wonder if there was something smelly and not disclosed, or perhaps it was meeting the Ghost from Melbourne, or as one shareholder and Mr Clark both described it ‘another unmentionable company.’’
    • ‘One unmentionable aspect of the war is the role of this mutlibillion-dollar corporate war machine.’
    • ‘Confirmed believers aside, isn't the price we demand for our conviction a perpetual insulation against the unmentionable fear and unimaginable pain that come with premature loss of our loved ones?’
    • ‘Because the good doctor has dared to utter the unmentionable truth: That the United States simply cannot afford to continue its current policy of absolute, unqualified support of the state of Israel.’
    • ‘So the other day when I was struck with this unmentionable ailment and spent the evening in bed crying out with pain… I sort of decided that was it.’
    • ‘Today as I wandered down, crunching on broken glass and avoiding unmentionable messes, I saw the corner of a bed in the corner of a window in the corner of an apartment.’
    • ‘‘The unmentionable odour of death,’ he wrote, ‘offends the September night.’’
    • ‘Until recently, however, it has been an unmentionable industry, rarely spoken of by politicians, air-brushed out of tourist literature and never claimed as a hobby by anyone with ambitions to make their way in public life.’
    • ‘This was the great unmentionable fact when I was working there.’
    • ‘There was a flicker of interest in Latham in the opening moments of the not-very-great debate - when he tackled the other unmentionable issues, Iran and the war against terror.’
    • ‘It seems to be the unmentionable subject, and everyone assumes that Cheney will be the vice president, and he probably will be.’
    • ‘Some historians studying the brutal battles for the Mediterranean have ended by asking an almost unmentionable question, which Woodall's plain account does not address: should Malta have been held at all, against such odds?’
    • ‘This particular kind of death makes people skittish, thinking suicide either a shameful or unmentionable kind of death.’
    • ‘As mortgage lenders last week upgraded their forecasts for house price inflation this year, commentators began whispering those two, until this moment, unmentionable words ‘hard landing’.’
    • ‘There are bones, there is blood, there are intestines, and all manner of unmentionable parts.’
    taboo, censored, forbidden, banned, interdicted, proscribed, prohibited, not to be spoken of, ineffable, unspeakable, unutterable, unprintable, indescribable, out of bounds, beyond the pale, off limits, that dare not speak its name, disapproved of, frowned on
    View synonyms

noun

usually unmentionables
humorous
  • 1A person or thing that is too shocking or embarrassing to be mentioned by name.

    ‘wearing nothing but fig leaves over their unmentionables’
    • ‘They do business with China, but they have to treat Cuba as the great unmentionable, the pariah.’
    • ‘It's always the great unmentionable, and unless our great absentee landlord is going to put money in his pocket…’ he tails off.’
    • ‘The weapons of mass destruction lies went entirely unchallenged, while the great unmentionable throughout the entire debate was the imperialist ambitions of the US.’
    • ‘Yale University may promulgate the ‘right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable,’ but I have no right to expect funding or resources to help confirm my hypothesis.’
    • ‘I think we'll find that if we finally dare to mention the unmentionable, finally start pointing out that with rights come responsibilities, sure, some people will pout and whine and wave their little fists about.’
    • ‘If Zizek were a little less suspicious of Spinoza, he would realise that the problem, the obscenity, is not passion - which is mandatory, ubiquitous - but that great unmentionable, affection.’
    • ‘The matter of discrimination stays out of the picture, the great unmentionable that might spoil the happy day.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, it's the unmentionable that gets the most mention.’
    • ‘One source said: ‘It has been the big unmentionable, but it's back on the agenda.’’
    • ‘And in her agony, in her utter helplessness, mentioned the unmentionable.’
    • ‘The youth-fixation of television and, particularly, Hollywood, has made ageing the great cultural unmentionable.’
    • ‘Elizabeth's multi-talented Godson amused her court with his translations of risqué foreign verses and not surprisingly, bold wit that he was, he was never afraid to mention the unmentionable.’
    • ‘Alaina fought not to snap at Sonora for mentioning the unmentionable, instead she asked, ‘What is this, do you know?’’
    • ‘Amongst those whom I brought with me to remove the scales from his eyes was a present county councillor who was a former independent and who is now an unmentionable.’
    • ‘To mention the unmentionable is already impossible.’
    • ‘Dirty cheating usually involves a personal financial gain made from a betrayal of trust or from some form of subterfuge; it is widely condemned and spoken of either in anger or in the guarded terms of the unmentionable.’
    • ‘By doing the unmentionable, the unthinkable, Sethe bears witness to the despair of a black woman slave faced with the threat of having ‘the best part of her… sullied’.’
    • ‘When he does mention the unmentionable, as an aside, the effect is callous.’
    • ‘The second unmentionable is that even if we do get the Rolls, odds are we'll immediately crave another.’
    • ‘There's a pattern here, but it's hard to see because gender is the great unmentionable in public life, and women are especially invisible as citizens in a time of crisis.’
    1. 1.1unmentionables Underwear.
      • ‘He purchased unremarkable jerseys, jeans, and unmentionables.’
      • ‘I pulled on the nearest pair of jeans after changing my unmentionables and shoved a blue sweater over my head.’
      • ‘Every time there was a field trip or a fee at school, she would tell her mother and father a few dollars more, hoarding the extras in a jar beneath all her clothes in her unmentionables drawer in her dresser.’
      • ‘And you don't have to worry about sand surreptitiously entering your unmentionables (although this can still happen through a string of eerie coincidences).’
      • ‘When was the last time you had a cute kitty design on your unmentionables?’
      • ‘Yes, you need to keep your unmentionables from showing through.’

Pronunciation

unmentionable

/ʌnˈmɛnʃ(ə)nəb(ə)l/