Meaning of unsayable in English:


Pronunciation /ʌnˈseɪəb(ə)l/


  • Not able to be said, especially because considered too controversial or offensive to mention.

    ‘a need to express through the arts what is unsayable elsewhere’
    • ‘You say what once seemed unsayable, you let the proverbial fly, the leader - seemingly benign - disassociates himself, meanwhile the seeds of doubt are sown, and the headkickers party on…’
    • ‘The fact that he is a rubbish candidate who has demonstrated over and over again his flakiness, inconsistency, flip-floppery, lack of principle and general untrustworthiness was unsayable.’
    • ‘I had thought the kind of comments that Spinner was making re the death of David Hookes were unsayable, and it was so refreshing to find a dissident viewpoint outside the mainstream media.’
    • ‘Far fewer doctors now annotate notes with acronyms designed to spell out the unsayable truth about their patients.’
    • ‘Costello at one point commends Kafka for taking things ‘to the end, to the bitter, unsayable end whether or not there are traces left on the page’.’
    • ‘Both made extensive photographic records of what they saw, using the camera to try and capture what seems to be unsayable.’
    • ‘Her angle is slightly but importantly new, and therefore unsayable in any words other than hers.’
    • ‘At times of national hysteria, certain things that go against the tide of public opinion become almost unsayable.’
    • ‘The fact that this was perceived by the Telegraph to be unsayable merely makes Steyn's point for him.’
    • ‘Some things are unsayable, but maybe you try to articulate the unspeakable in music.’
    • ‘I used to have a view of writers as being heroic figures, in the sense that they would say unsayable and courageous things.’
    • ‘He added: ‘I suppose it is a testimony to my doctor that he gave us the news, white faced, nervous, with eyes downcast… as if it was something both unsayable and already said.’’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the meaning performed in our ‘joint action’ is immersed in the unsayable workings of cultural history in a manner that changes our relations to the past, present, and future.’
    • ‘The marital warfare enacted by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor's characters, however, depended for its full effect on some things being generally considered quite unsayable.’
    • ‘But Wittgenstein in fact believed that the most important thing, what he referred to as ‘the mystical,’ is merely unsayable, not that it doesn't exist at all.’
    • ‘In a culture bent on out-shouting a God who chooses silence, we need to make room in our communities for entering into that silence with God, so that the unsayable truth can be heard.’
    • ‘You must turn up the volume, find a new blasphemy to utter, discover the certain something still unsayable that you, and you alone, dare to say.’
    • ‘Multiculturalism has made it almost unsayable.’
    • ‘Once it was digested that a military conclusion seemed as far off as ever, the hitherto unsayable notion of a political resolution was out of the bag.’
    • ‘They said out loud what at the time was unsayable - that sexual orientation should not matter.’