Definitions

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

  • adj. Not to be named or identified: "We lived in dread of various unnameable calamities” ( Garrison Keillor).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. That cannot, or should not, be named

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

  • adj. too sacred to be uttered

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Odorants classified as unnameable were rated as significantly more difficult to name than odors classified as nameable.

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  • Whereupon this foreigner, who was clueless and careless enough to mention the occult, was showered with stories of varying levels of tragedy illustrating the cataclysmic powers of the 'unnameable', whose name still inspired fear.

    signandsight.com

  • Odorants classified as unnameable and nameable were rated as equally intense (t (9) = 0.76, p

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  • We notice, in a pile of unnameable forms, suggestively titled "Residue," the shoe soles that will return again and again in Guston's later paintings, as well as hints of stubbed-out cigarette butts.

    An Anxious Modern Eyes the Eternal City

  • Detailed scenarios display fragments of earth and home destroyed by some unnameable horror.

    Tracey Harnish: Devastation of the American Dream

  • The usual rap on Mr. Romney is that he's robotic, but the real reason he can't gain traction with voters is that they suspect he's concealing some unnameable private doubt.

    The GOP Deserves to Lose

  • Claustrophobia replaces openness as you experience the unnameable on a colossal scale.

    The Facelessness of Mass Destruction

  • Netherland recognizes the tenuous nature of a self, that "fine white thread running, through years and years," and Hans flirts with the possibility that language may not precisely describe the world ( "I was assaulted by the notion, arriving in the form of a terrifying stroke of consciousness, that substance — everything of so called concreteness — was indistinct from its unnameable opposite").

    Part 2: Netherland, Lyrical Realism, and the flip flops of Zadie Smith

  • Go to Ireland, where you can have all five seasons in the span of an hour, plus a fifth, unnameable season!

    Maybe Sometimes Make It Easy Take Your Time

  • And, third, it recognizes that focusing on the self-sameness of spirit and matter is the Way to a personal, first-hand, experience of the unnameable source of the universe.

    William Horden: The Tao Of Green: Love Of Humanity And Nature

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