Definition of unplayable in US English:



  • 1Not able to be played or played on.

    ‘hit a high-bouncing, unplayable chop over second’
    ‘an unplayable golf course’
    • ‘After the attacks of 11 September, harmless songs were deemed unplayable, flags are deemed obligatory by some and offensive by others, paintings painted years ago are removed from gallery walls.’
    • ‘Sergio thought of taking an unplayable penalty but decided to slash it out.’
    • ‘The frame rate in general is pretty solid most of the time, although there are instances, such as when boulders roll in front of you, that the game is darn near unplayable for a few seconds or so.’
    • ‘Also, in writing for mallet percussion, non percussionist composers tend to compose at a piano keyboard resulting in numerous passages easily playable by ten fingers, yet often unplayable with four mallets.’
    • ‘Napster requires you to log into your account with a portable player at least once a month, or the songs become unplayable.’
    • ‘Ndima received an unplayable delivery from Namibian strike bowler, Gerrie Snyman, edging to wicketkeeper Morne Karg.’
    • ‘When Tchaikovsky played his First Piano Concerto for Nikolay Rubinstein, director of the Moscow Conservatoire, Rubinstein attacked it as worthless, trite and unplayable.’
    • ‘The major flaws come with no online game play and the unresponsive controls can almost make the game unplayable at times.’
    • ‘For once, though, the ground-breaking composer, whose first work was rejected as unplayable by the Royal Manchester College, has a precedent.’
    • ‘His second wound up in Lytham's deep rough and was unplayable.’
    • ‘Coria claims his second break with two more unplayable backhands down the line that leave Agassi stranded.’
    • ‘While South Africa did bowl extremely well, the manner in which Pakistan capitulated had more to do with indifferent strokes than unplayable deliveries.’
    • ‘He tended to bowl too wide at times but from time to time would produce the unplayable ball.’
    • ‘One of the simplest but most misunderstood rules predicaments on the PGA Tour is a ball that's unplayable, says tour rules official Mark Russell.’
    • ‘Nasser Hussain could only edge an unplayable McGrath delivery to Ricky Ponting at second slip, who took a sensational sprawling catch.’
    1. 1.1 (of music) too difficult or bad to perform.
      • ‘The Toccata originally was written for violin and conventional piano, but the repeated piano notes made it unplayable in that form, so Nancarrow later adapted it for violin and player piano.’
      • ‘Twelve violins, donated by a local music shop, were decorated (most to unplayable extremes… alas) by artists.’
      • ‘Busoni thought them unplayable as written and consequently produced his own edition, with wholesale rewriting and paraphrases.’
      • ‘Cellists of an earlier generation (if they were at all familiar with Bach's suites) considered these works to be unplayable and musically dull and academic.’
      • ‘If the action is badly designed, then the instrument can be difficult to play or may even be unplayable.’