Definitions

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

  • adj. Not readily spoken or expressed: unsayable fears.
  • n. Something not readily said.
  • n. Something unfit to be said.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not capable of being said.
  • adj. Not allowed or not fit to be said.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Although much of the early history of the restaurant is "unsayable" - according to Sir George, that's only partly due to the romantic liaisons which started there.

    New Zealand Herald - Top Stories

  • Very often you don’t know what that is, but if you get to a state where you almost stumble upon what the unsayable is for you, you recognise it.

    Hypnosis for Writer’s Block « Write Anything

  • For all that blogging has, at least partly, grown up around saying the unsayable, that is not the point of what follows.

    Blogposts | guardian.co.uk

  • Over the weekend, NBC White House Correspondent Chuck Todd took to his Twitter account to say what The Plum Line's Greg Sargent characterizes as one of those "unsayable" things in the political discourse: namely that the "only way for Dems to secure bipartisan cooperation is to completely embrace Republican proposals and nothing more."

    Bipartisanship Missing From Final Votes: Whose Fault Is That?

  • But the real point is that by the 1990s, Michelman's arguments were basically "unsayable," at least by "mainstream" law professors (including Michelman himself).

    Balkinization

  • I'll take that "unsayable" in the sense of ugly, unpleasant, or disagreeable, and the phenomenon therefore as a common haplology.

    languagehat.com: STILL UNPACKED.

  • The Technology newsbucket: SPARQLS pieces together linked data, Yahoo laid bare, and Wolff says the "unsayable"

    Technology: Technology blog | guardian.co.uk

  • Lyndall Gordon delivered an informative and enjoyable lecture a few hundred yards away from where Emily Brontë lived and wrote one of the greatest works of literature in the English Language and I am sure the lecture left those who had heard it wanting to learn more about the parallel of these two writers, separated in age by a decade and in location by the Atlantic and thousands of miles, but whose lives ran in parallel courses from childhood to death both trying to put the 'unsayable' into language.

    BrontëBlog

  • Where it was possible at last for Egyptians to stand side by side and say what was previously unsayable.

    Egyptian revolution has the energy of rock festival

  • If it must be reduced to what it "says", I would think it's that certain things are unsayable, certainly unwritable, ironically, perhaps, undercut by the existence of the story itself, except that it still doesn't quite get at what can't be said.

    A Sad Decline

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