Definition of unutterable in US English:



  • Too great, intense, or awful to describe.

    ‘those private moments of unutterable grief’
    • ‘In this poem, the line that introduces the variation, ‘But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,’ is also the line that tells us for the first time what the unutterable grief is about.’
    • ‘Can governments really expect that we will sit and watch images of unutterable misery and do nothing about it?’
    • ‘From what looked like very bad news came the unutterable relief of very good news.’
    • ‘The Berlin Jewish Museum obviously speaks to us from a specific historical experience but it opens up issues that are very important in the contemporary world - how to deal with an almost unutterable history and how to represent loss.’
    • ‘He was often frightened that he was losing his memory, though the doctors had found no evidence of this, and even his failure to recall things he might plausibly have forgotten thirty years ago filled him with unutterable terror.’
    • ‘As we speak, literally thousands of copies of films of almost unutterable worthlessness are being preserved in this manner.’
    • ‘Within 60 seconds of that score, however, Scotland conceded a try of unutterable amateurishness.’
    • ‘This is about television and the audience, both of which, on the evidence of these programmes, have descended over the past 40 years into a condition of unutterable stupidity.’
    • ‘But they are picked up by the scanning mechanism of our subconscious, which enables them to join a host of otherwise unutterable feelings that lie buried deep in our psyche.’
    • ‘A problem: said illumination tends to reveal kinks, unpleasant truths, and unutterable feelings.’
    • ‘And once again, the thought that Howard was joining the ‘Coalition’ for less than freedom-loving reasons was unutterable.’
    • ‘More recently, their books captured the unutterable sadness of the place.’
    • ‘Slowly, ponderously, and to no obvious purpose, bewigged lawyers gnaw away at obscure details, while judges occasionally interrupt them with observations of unutterable banality.’
    • ‘By consciously subverting the genre of figurative painting, he evokes a miscellaneous sense of emptiness, horror, desire and unutterable inner fire with Eastern religious connotations.’
    • ‘Everything I have suffered seems almost necessary, because I am overcome with an unutterable serenity.’
    • ‘He, who has worked for international magazines such as Time and Newsweek, and British newspaper the Sunday Times, has captured those moments in which unutterable misery meets human courage, strength, and compassion.’
    • ‘It is hard to convey quite how profoundly last Tuesday's attack will change the character of New York, but there is a sense of unutterable loss, which the city is still struggling to make sense of.’
    • ‘The stand-out performance is that of her as Julienne, trying to articulate unutterable emotions in a faltering stammer that is simultaneously funny and sad.’
    • ‘He writes, ‘It is an unutterable sadness which punctuates the reality that I am called upon to portray, and yet the dominant superstition of my profession demands that I raise a laugh.’’
    • ‘Her voice had seemed to come from some unutterable distance.’
    indescribable, beyond words, beyond description, inexpressible, unspeakable, undefinable, beggaring description, inconceivable, unthinkable, unheard of
    marvellous, wonderful, superb, splendid, ineffable, unimaginable, profound, deep, ecstatic
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