Definition of unthinkable in English:



  • (of a situation or event) too unlikely or undesirable to be considered a possibility.

    ‘it was unthinkable that John could be dead’
    ‘the unthinkable happened—I spoke up’
    • ‘He says the ghoulish graveyard thefts would have been unthinkable in an earlier age.’
    • ‘Such draconian measures would be almost unthinkable in a democratic system.’
    • ‘Yet think of other Scots for whom such a remedy would be unthinkable.’
    • ‘Such events seemed unthinkable to most mainstream commentators a few years ago.’
    • ‘A whole winter brooding on the events of August would be unthinkable for such a meticulous mind.’
    • ‘To involve them in a new set of dangers would have been unthinkable.’
    • ‘By 60, you've learnt to think the unthinkable and, even better, to say the unsayable.’
    • ‘Less than a decade ago such adjoining public events would have been unthinkable.’
    • ‘Before the event got under way, that prospect seemed pretty much unthinkable.’
    • ‘Thankfully Ferguson was one of them too, and the unthinkable defeat became merely an unpalatable draw.’
    • ‘In such a situation a handshake is unthinkable and a mere waving of one hand is somehow too frivolous.’
    • ‘In extreme cases it can also lead to suicide and, unthinkable but not unheard of, the death of a child at the hands of its own mother.’
    • ‘Other families with other children, he says, have suffered unthinkable loss.’
    • ‘When a team is embroiled in a relegation battle a meagre point never seems quite enough to quench the fear of the unthinkable.’
    • ‘A couple of decades ago, such an event happening in England would have been unthinkable.’
    • ‘His creed, and his actions, are unthinkable, but he is also our invention.’
    • ‘No one should be naive enough to believe these possibilities are unthinkable.’
    • ‘That any Trade Union could ever be expelled from the Party was once unthinkable.’
    • ‘What are the frontlines of defence against such an unthinkable catastrophe?’
    • ‘In its 18 years in power it pressed ahead with previously unthinkable policies.’
    unimaginable, inconceivable, unbelievable, incredible, beyond belief, highly unlikely, unheard of, implausible, illogical, impossible, beyond the bounds of possibility
    highly undesirable, not to be considered, unconscionable, out of the question, absurd, unreasonable, preposterous, ludicrous, outrageous, shocking
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