Definitions

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

  • adj. That cannot be dissolved: insoluble matter.
  • adj. Difficult or impossible to solve or explain; insolvable: insoluble riddles.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. that cannot be dissolved
  • adj. that cannot be solved; insolvable
  • adj. that cannot be explained; mysterious or inexplicable

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not soluble; in capable or difficult of being dissolved, as by a liquid.
  • adj. Not to be solved or explained; insolvable.
  • adj. Strong.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • That cannot be loosed or undone.
  • Not soluble; incapable of being dissolved.
  • Incapable of being solved or explained; not susceptible of solution or explanation.
  • n. A thing which is insoluble; a problem that cannot be solved.

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

  • adj. admitting of no solution or explanation
  • adj. (of a substance) incapable of being dissolved
  • adj. without hope of solution

Etymologies

Middle English insolible, from Latin īnsolūbilis : in-, not; see in-1 + solvere, to loosen; see soluble.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin insolubilis (in- + solubilis). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The insoluble form or gun-cotton is entirely _insoluble_ in nitro-glycerine.

    Nitro-Explosives: A Practical Treatise

  • Those which we call insoluble generally differ from the rest only in degree.

    Religion and Chemistry

  • For transparent colored bottles, instead of sponge, the perfumers use what they call insoluble crystal salts (sulphate of potass).

    The Art of Perfumery And Methods of Obtaining the Odors of Plants

  • The foods that contain insoluble fiber foods are almost all plants, Dr. Sheth said, because humans haven't evolved the enzymes necessary to break down some plant cell walls.

    Science Question from a Toddler: Why is poop brown? Boing Boing

  • Old World was hopelessly entangled in insoluble problems.

    Sir Norman Angell - Biography

  • Carbonate of lime, itself, in the forms we have mentioned, is commonly called insoluble in water.

    Peat and its Uses as Fertilizer and Fuel

  • Richard Lavenham, an English contemporary of Wyclif, perhaps put the prevailing optimism best (Spade 1975, p. 93; Heytesbury 1979, p. Just as the bond of love is sometimes called insoluble, not because it can in no way be untied (sit solubilis) but because it can be untied [only] with difficulty, so a proposition is sometimes called insoluble, not because it is not solvable but because it is solvable [only] with difficulty.

    Insolubles

  • The main reason for fritting is to make glaze materials insoluble, which is possible if the frit materials are mixed in the right proportion.

    16. Glaze formula calculations

  • The fluid from which they have been precipitated contains two substances, crenic and apocrenic acids, while the soil still retains what has been called insoluble humus.

    Elements of Agricultural Chemistry

  • As far as the manufacture of explosive bodies is concerned, the two forms of nitro-cellulose used and manufactured are gun-cotton or the hexa - nitrate (once regarded as tri-nitro-cellulose), which is also known as insoluble gun-cotton, and the soluble form of gun-cotton, which is also known as collodion, and consists of a mixture of several of the lower nitrates.

    Nitro-Explosives: A Practical Treatise

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  • When the total tax burden grows beyond a bearable size, the problem of devising taxes that will not discourage and disrupt production becomes insoluble.

    October 2, 2010