Definition of insufferable in US English:



  • 1Too extreme to bear; intolerable.

    ‘the heat would be insufferable by July’
    • ‘For those of you who once had to endure the insufferable banalities of '80s pop music, you better run to the hills because this album is gonna bring it all back.’
    • ‘The opposite is true: periods of decline, an absence of having something to say and infertility are often insufferable for those who can't endure it.’
    • ‘He says that last Sunday's Scottish Cup exit to Celtic, the result that damned Rangers to a joyless and fruitless remainder of an insufferable season, was for him the watershed.’
    • ‘And the burdens of an unjust war are insufferable.’
    • ‘There is no song that cannot be made more insufferable by a dire ‘reggae version’, in fact there is only one surer-fire way of lowering quality and that is to include a bit of toasting.’
    • ‘Warner Brothers never tells you the truth about a key plot twist that turns this pedestrian boxing movie into an insufferable manipulative right to die movie.’
    • ‘It's one of the goofiest records I've ever heard, but it's also quite dark and there's a mania to the giggliness which stops it being just insufferable.’
    • ‘Sadly I find male voices in opera absolutely insufferable.’
    • ‘The space ship in Solaris is the very image of the place from which Tarkovsky sees the world in all of his films - across a space of radical separation and insufferable desire.’
    • ‘Such is the scenario in Pearl Harbor, essentially an orgy of impressive special effects that are wrapped up in about two hours of insufferable romantic-conundrum filler.’
    • ‘How does punishment, no matter how insufferable, become legal?’
    • ‘Those systems will only make life more insufferable.’
    • ‘If 101 Reykjavik were entirely along these lines, it'd be pretty insufferable stuff - the plight of motionless slackers can get dreary fast, after all.’
    • ‘After spending two to three months in insufferable conditions, they were shackled to boats bound for the Americas and Europe.’
    • ‘But the owners of the planet, who do their utmost to make this world insufferable, add the evitable to the inevitable, and charge us for the favour.’
    • ‘One night I asked how they could survive under such insufferable conditions.’
    • ‘What other cosmic reasoning can explain this insufferable, graceless production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream now playing at the Poor Alex?’
    • ‘More cars blocking the arterial routes into Leeds have led to an insufferable increase in journey times for some commuters, a new report has found.’
    • ‘The many hours that Scott had to bear without knowing at all what was happening were insufferable.’
    • ‘If this level of population growth were to happen in Laois, an insufferable burden will be placed on people living in the county.’
    intolerable, unbearable, unendurable, insupportable, unacceptable, oppressive, overwhelming, overpowering, impossible, not to be borne, past bearing, too much to bear, more than one can stand, more than flesh and blood can stand, enough to tax the patience of a saint, enough to test the patience of a saint, enough to try the patience of a saint
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    1. 1.1 Having or showing unbearable arrogance or conceit.
      ‘an insufferable bully’
      ‘insufferable French chauvinism’
      • ‘When he was a schoolboy at an insufferable snob establishment on the south coast of England, George Orwell developed a strong aversion to all things Scottish.’
      • ‘As an individual he was probably insufferable: it should be enough to mention that he was a vegetarian, a teetotaller, and an anti-vivisectionist.’
      • ‘Ivory, once an insufferable middlebrow pedant, has officially become a walking anachronism - and I, for one, am damn grateful.’
      • ‘This isn't a plea for sympathy; along with their self-doubt, journalists are given to insufferable vanity and sanctimony.’
      • ‘The stone pages of the law have, by definition, become the absolute of literature, thus achieving a dominion over the literary world of which everyday insufferable literary critics can only dream.’
      • ‘I'm sorry, Nick, anyone but that insufferable, lying, supercilious, talentless, mediocre, tiny-minded creep Charlie Boy.’
      • ‘Those Australians are bad enough when they are crowing about their inevitable sporting victories over these islands; now they will be insufferable.’
      • ‘He is a stout defender of all field sports, and likes to shoot and to fish, yet he doesn't ride to hounds, partly because he can't stand what he calls the insufferable social life which surrounds fox-hunting.’
      • ‘This insufferable self-serving sanctimony about freedom and liberty is more than just annoying, however.’
      • ‘He describes the behavior of these insufferable boors.’
      • ‘The subsequent discovery of this very old painting has only reinforced the views of these three experts, causing them to become insufferable dinner guests.’
      • ‘Overall he is more politician than scientist, and he wouldn't be so insufferable if he didn't himself show such disdain for the people he says he wants to represent.’
      • ‘In Titanic, virtually every Englishman was insufferable, while happy Irish fiddlers and dancers created a wonderful atmosphere in steerage.’
      • ‘There were lots of totally insufferable kids there who'd come into class and announce, ‘My mummy's coming to pick me up for an audition at three o'clock’.’
      • ‘I mean, you've got one who's incompetent and one who's insufferable.’
      • ‘Yes, this point undoubtedly resonated with many women who have to deal with insufferable condescension and dismissal in their daily lives.’
      • ‘Then you can send your new animated, all-singing, all-dancing creation to anybody you want to, to prove exactly how insufferable you really are.’
      • ‘Call it class envy, or just bitter grapes, but most of the Times reporters I knew were little more than stuffed suits with insufferable attitudes.’
      • ‘Hasn't the guy become insufferable since getting all this publicity?’
      • ‘You know, he can be awfully pedantic, and awfully insufferable.’
      conceited, arrogant, boastful, cocky, cocksure, full of oneself, above oneself, self-important, immodest, swaggering, strutting
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Late Middle English: perhaps via French (now dialect) insouffrable, based on Latin sufferre ‘endure’ (see suffer).