Definition of unspeakable in English:



  • 1Not able to be expressed in words:

    ‘I felt an unspeakable tenderness towards her’
    • ‘How she felt so unseen and out-of-place, like the silence that fills the void of unspeakable words.’
    • ‘Just the sound of it fills the world with unspeakable joy.’
    • ‘The movie lifts the lid on this seething cauldron of unspoken, unspeakable shame, takes a good long peep within and then drops the lid again with a clang.’
    • ‘It's offered, and has duly been read, as a visual metaphor for an unspeakable loss - one of those moments when cinema aspires to the poetic.’
    • ‘If this is so, then writing becomes a problematic activity. If the writer uses words connected to the world, then cannot express an unspeakable experience.’
    • ‘My sisters and I understood very little of the unspeakable reality he sought to describe.’
    indescribable, beyond words, beyond description, inexpressible, unutterable, indefinable, beggaring description, ineffable, unimaginable, inconceivable, unthinkable, unheard of, marvellous, wonderful
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    1. 1.1 Too bad or horrific to express in words:
      ‘a piece of unspeakable abuse’
      • ‘The coroner described the crash as one of unspeakable tragedy.’
      • ‘Memorial services happen because for each family with a loss, every loss is unspeakable tragedy.’
      • ‘Admittedly there can be no denying the horror, the unspeakable horror of what had transpired at the Cathedral nearly three years ago.’
      • ‘The wounds inflicted on minority women can hardly heal especially when they were subjected to such unspeakable crimes.’
      • ‘For years people have struggled with the idea that their favourite novelist was an unspeakable racist or their beloved composer a Nazi sympathizer.’
      • ‘The character sees no alternative to performing an unspeakable act and, in the end, she's the one who will suffer the most from it.’
      • ‘Please drop whatever you're doing and throw your weight behind the campaign to put a stop to these unspeakable abuses.’
      • ‘The scale of destruction is unthinkable, and the horror is unspeakable.’
      • ‘Did the first world war veterans who suffered unspeakable horrors expect compensation?’
      • ‘This is the kind of unspeakable inhumanity we are all up against.’
      • ‘I wondered about what violence had preceded these unspeakable acts and what violence would follow.’
      • ‘Famine anywhere is a tragedy, but when it is caused by a country's government it is an unspeakable crime.’
      • ‘I love to write, but I feel an unspeakable dread when faced with editing.’
      • ‘Or were the crimes she committed so unspeakable as to be beyond forgiveness?’
      • ‘His beautifully judged film matches the moments of comedy with glimpses of the unspeakable tragedies that can send a life into tailspin.’
      • ‘I am equally sure that those parents feel unspeakable grief once the phone call came that their beloved one would not be returning home.’
      • ‘And this is an unthinkable, unspeakable tragedy that, in my opinion, came out of left field.’
      • ‘The march has been described as a creative response to the unspeakable brutality that has gripped the country.’
      • ‘Tiny figures huddled in sweatshops, toiling in unspeakable conditions.’
      • ‘Surely one of life's greatest tragedies is that man can always come up with explanations for the unspeakable cruelties people inflict on each other.’
      dreadful, awful, appalling, horrific, horrifying, horrible, terrible, horrendous, atrocious, insufferable, abominable, abhorrent, repellent, repulsive, repugnant, revolting, sickening, frightful, fearful, shocking, hideous, ghastly, grim, dire, hateful, odious, loathsome, gruesome, monstrous, outrageous, heinous, deplorable, despicable, contemptible, execrable, vile, indescribable, indescribably bad, indescribably evil, indescribably wicked
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