Definition of inaccessible in US English:



  • 1Unable to be reached.

    ‘a remote and inaccessible cave’
    • ‘They are considering whether the results could, in the future, be a way of furthering space exploration into areas currently inaccessible to human beings.’
    • ‘The food crisis was aggravated by the surveyed population being inaccessible to relief organisations because of military operations and an embargo on UNITA held areas.’
    • ‘The move to an inaccessible location will make it more difficult for loved ones to keep in touch with inmates.’
    • ‘Other areas are inaccessible except over private land.’
    • ‘In Scandinavia, during harsh winters when voles are scarce or inaccessible under thick snow, most of a hawk owl's diet can be made up of birds.’
    • ‘Much of the countryside is scattered with mines, and vast areas are inaccessible due to impassable roads.’
    • ‘The bikes will allow police to cycle down narrow footpaths and alleyways that are inaccessible to police cars and vans.’
    • ‘Because of its sheer size, much of the forest remains inaccessible to walkers on foot, despite the waymarked trails.’
    • ‘They penetrated ravines and reached precipitous mountain peaks inaccessible to mechanized troops.’
    • ‘The charity said most areas were inaccessible to aid organisations and there was evidence of a humanitarian crisis in Umm Qasr in the south and Kirkuk in the north.’
    • ‘The man, believed to be white and in his 30s, was lying by the track in a deep cutting which was almost inaccessible to the emergency services.’
    • ‘The North West Air Ambulance was then scrambled to the area which is inaccessible to vehicles.’
    • ‘Mr Bailey had previously warned that the need for defences was a matter of life or death, saying that floodwaters often made the village inaccessible to emergency services.’
    • ‘The far side is overgrown and quite inaccessible.’
    • ‘Positioned about 100 miles west-north-west off mainland Scotland, St Kilda is a group of seven islands, which are often inaccessible to divers due to unforgiving weather.’
    • ‘New pipes had to be laid down the middle of the road, leaving the village's main byway completely inaccessible to vehicles.’
    • ‘They seem to be impervious to weedkillers and they spread into such inaccessible places that digging them out would be a difficult and mammoth task.’
    • ‘Whether venturing to the most inaccessible places on earth or roaming his estates in Cheshire, he did it in style.’
    • ‘Twelve months ago, the annus horribilis was launched on the spectacular floodwaters which made North Yorkshire inaccessible to all except oarsmen - or so the world was led to believe.’
    • ‘The team of officers will also be able to respond quickly to 999 calls and reach areas inaccessible to vehicles.’
    unreachable, out of reach, beyond reach
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Unable to be used.
      ‘such costs would make litigation inaccessible to private individuals’
      • ‘Rastrick's notebook has previously been inaccessible to all but a tiny number of researchers, but it will now be available to be viewed by the public.’
      • ‘The letter is typical of the rich archive of treasures now stored behind the scenes at the NRM and, as a result, largely inaccessible to most visitors.’
      • ‘Spiraling tuition fees make tertiary education - the great doorway to opportunity - increasingly inaccessible to those on the bottom of the heap.’
      • ‘A federal judge ruled that the Atlanta mass transit agency violated the ADA by constructing a website that was inaccessible for people with visual disabilities.’
      • ‘We rely heavily on donations and it's really important because the sports opportunities around Barnes are financially inaccessible to most of our members.’
      • ‘Due to rising rates that accompany privatization, electricity has become similarly inaccessible for thousands of families.’
      • ‘But he concedes that most of the collection is bolted to walls of the Fielding offices of the EMSB, which remains inaccessible to visitors.’
      • ‘‘I would not say the market is inaccessible to the working class, but there is a general lack of education on how it works,’ he said.’
      • ‘Such indirect human rights violation under a new regime of international law will also have its impact on the education sector, making higher education inaccessible to the poor.’
      • ‘Both Jensen and McFadyen stated fears that fees will rise, making post-secondary education inaccessible to many prospective students.’
      • ‘Many get very frustrated after a while when they realise that, after years of study and sacrifice to ensure that they could get a good job in the field that they like, they find that the field is inaccessible to them.’
      • ‘James prefers to take his coffee on the steps outside the canteen, weather permitting - not because the canteen is inaccessible to wheelchair users, but because the view is better out on the steps.’
      • ‘Unemployment in South Africa is at 40% and for those individuals, antiretrovirals are just inaccessible.’
      • ‘At a cost of over a million pounds - and even then many parts of the building will be inaccessible to the disabled.’
      • ‘It sickens me to think that anyone would even consider downgrading it and making many acute services almost inaccessible to many.’
      • ‘Much of the information for these reviews is in the grey literature of road safety organisations in high income countries and is inaccessible to the transport ministries of other countries.’
      • ‘It was acquired by Rotherham Council from the Wentworth Estate in the early 1980s but has been inaccessible to the public for the past 30 years.’
      • ‘However, the park is currently undergoing restoration and much of it, including the Victorian Boating Lake, is inaccessible to visitors.’
      • ‘The site, which is locked and inaccessible to the public, has been empty for ten years.’
      • ‘Much of this audio was hitherto inaccessible, locked in record company vaults, private collections, archives and radio station libraries.’
  • 2(of language or an artistic work) difficult to understand or appreciate.

    • ‘In much recent art, the object itself is secondary to the dialogue which surrounds it, which makes it inaccessible to those who don't follow theoretical discussions and oddly irrelevant for itself.’
    • ‘Much of our discourse is inaccessible because of elitist language and our focus on print-based media.’
    • ‘But for Woolrich, there is nothing inherent in modernist music that makes it inaccessible or difficult.’
    • ‘Positivism, by example at least, also molds the position of sharp critics such as deconstructionists, whose inaccessible language is a measure of their distance from the public.’
    • ‘An urgent bulletin about life on the planet today, Jia's masterpiece received a handful of raves, but was largely dismissed as too difficult and inaccessible by most.’
    • ‘I told him that I thought his film was fairly inaccessible, difficult to enter.’
    • ‘Just as long hair, sandals and creative angst have typified the poet, poetry that is dense and inaccessible is considered weighty.’
    • ‘The argument of Docta Ignorantia was that ultimate truth is inaccessible to the human intellect.’
    • ‘They seem to fear it; they consistently belittle and mock performance poets, perhaps because much of the poetry written for the page has become quite inaccessible to the ear if not the eye.’
    • ‘The passage cited above articulates that which cannot be articulated, namely Orion's inaccessible language as the spirit of Damballah.’
    • ‘There is a danger - as some young American web reviewers have pointed out - that, by following the book so closely, the film will make itself inaccessible to those who haven't read it.’
    • ‘Must art always be difficult and modern and inaccessible?’
    • ‘In addition to being too long and too inclusive, the language of the draft constitution is vague and inaccessible.’
    • ‘Tippett was always proclaimed the more original, and obviously the more intellectual of the two, but so much of his work remained in the intellect, sincere but inaccessible to the layman.’
    • ‘A lot of jazz is inaccessible until you have listened to and understood its ‘prerequisites.’’
    • ‘We continue to sign collective agreements that are generally written in complex and inaccessible language.’
    • ‘Gonzalez and Russom are hardly inaccessible artists.’
    • ‘How many sales have you missed because the work is inaccessible?’
    • ‘Sure Godard's work is inaccessible, but at least he's not trying to force feed emotion to the masses.’
    • ‘Much avant-garde music proved too difficult for amateurs and seemed at first inaccessible.’
    esoteric, obscure, abstruse, recondite, recherché, arcane, rarefied
    View synonyms
  • 3(of a person) not open to advances or influence; unapproachable.

    • ‘They are polite to the ‘English’ but inaccessible and unapproachable; they don't take photographs and frown on others photographing them.’
    • ‘In a way, the city is reflected in its people, both seeming inaccessible and intimidating to start with.’
    • ‘In truth, he was a remote, inaccessible figure to most tribal people, and his traditionalist pretensions were rarely accepted at face value.’
    • ‘He is as incomprehensible as he is inaccessible.’
    • ‘He'd heard about the Nuba and he wanted to find them, but they were very inaccessible.’


Late Middle English: from French, or from late Latin inaccessibilis, from in- ‘not’ + accessibilis (see accessible).