Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Impossible to express: inexpressible grief. See Synonyms at unspeakable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Unable to be expressed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not capable of expression or utterance in language; ineffable; unspeakable; indescribable; unutterable.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not expressible; incapable of being expressed; that cannot be uttered or represented in words; unspeakable; unutterable: as, inexpressible grief or joy.
  • Synonyms Unspeakable, indescribable, ineffable.
  • Trousers; “unmentionables.”

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. defying expression

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music

    Musing Mondays: Music « A Progressive on the Prairie

  • "After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music" -- Aldous Huxley;

    Learning Through The Arts

  • Then she went on, no longer afraid of anything that could happen to herself, but in inexpressible terror of what might have happened to her father.

    The Miracles of Antichrist: A Novel

  • I saw Margaret's delight, too, shewn by every quick and thoughtful movement that could be of any service to me, and by a certain inexpressible air of deliverance which sat on her, I cannot tell how, from her bonnet down to her shoes.

    Daisy

  • The day of the 8th was passed by Lady Harriet and her companions in inexpressible anxiety: not a tent, not a shed was standing, except what belonged to the hospital: their refuge was among the wounded and the dying.

    Letter to the Women of England, on the Injustice of Mental Subordination

  • God, 'were perfectly original and unique, and would be well worth preserving, were it possible to give the tones and manner with the words; but no adequate idea of them can be written while the tones and manner remain inexpressible.

    Narrative of Sojourner Truth, a Northern Slave, Emancipated from Bodily Servitude by the State of New York, in 1828

  • The legacy of Charles Mingus is, in short, inexpressible.

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  • December 21st, 2007 at 7: 08 am to be able to detect something "inexpressible" in facial "expression" is – of course – a contradiction in terms.

    Corrupting the Youth

  • He sprang up, his eyes flashing a sort of shower of sparks over me, gladness in every line of his face, and surprise, and a kind of inexpressible deference in his manner.

    Daisy

  • For her, accustomed so long to cruel privations, there was a kind of inexpressible charm in the calm silence of this retreat -- in the cheerful aspect of the garden, and above all, in the consciousness that she was indebted for this comfortable position, to the resignation and energy she had displayed, in the thick of the many severe trials which now ended so happily.

    The Wandering Jew — Complete

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Comments

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  • This definition is pants.

    August 12, 2012

  • Time for me to put on a pair of inexpressibles and start my day!

    August 11, 2012

  • I like how the Century begins with "Not expressible; incapable of being expressed; that cannot be uttered or represented in words; unspeakable; unutterable: as, inexpressible grief or joy" and ends with "Trousers; “unmentionables.”"

    August 10, 2012

  • I love the tension between having a concept like inexpressibility and a word used specifically to express that concept.

    March 22, 2012