Definition of insoluble in English:


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  • 1Impossible to solve.

    ‘the problem is not insoluble’
    • ‘But therein lay a seemingly insoluble dilemma: that way - the only way - did not seem a possible way.’
    • ‘His married life was dominated by an insoluble dilemma.’
    • ‘Before the Jubilee the dilemma may have looked insoluble.’
    • ‘The prime minister faces a seemingly insoluble dilemma.’
    • ‘It's probably one of those insoluble mysteries, like what happened to the crew of the Marie Celeste, or where I put down my mug of tea.’
    • ‘There is a dilemma here, but it is not insoluble.’
    • ‘The sneaky truth was that Loyd's puzzle was insoluble - something that contemporaneous mathematicians soon proved.’
    • ‘He promises that there are no insoluble puzzles in the story - if you pay attention, Primer eventually gives up all its ghosts.’
    • ‘The whole affair still disturbs Barr who as an engineer is not averse to wrestling for long hours with a seemingly insoluble technical problem, but he really would like to move on.’
    • ‘He also found there was no evidence that insoluble problems would be caused for the management of elections if the deposits requirement was not there.’
    • ‘There were no bad endings, no insoluble questions.’
    • ‘Often it seems that Africa's problems are insoluble.’
    • ‘Sometimes, it seems insoluble and very frustrating for those of us who have to ask questions on both sides of the ledger.’
    • ‘With a bit of tweaking, we can translate this as: the architecture of our symbolic systems runs into insoluble difficulties at the edges.’
    • ‘The most immediate priorities facing her on the arts front are either insoluble or politically weighted.’
    • ‘Since this stand-off is logically insoluble, despair is indeed understandable.’
    • ‘Racism in our country is a situation which is still a very difficult one, but not insoluble.’
    • ‘Is it good enough in this day and age to accept it as an insoluble problem and allow it to continue?’
    • ‘While we are bound to get the hang of such a new system soon, the nappy problems sound insoluble.’
    • ‘There is no insoluble and eternal waste problem as with nuclear power.’
    unsolvable, insolvable, unable to be solved, without a solution, unanswerable, unresolvable
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  • 2(of a substance) incapable of being dissolved.

    ‘once dry, the paints become insoluble in water’
    • ‘Like all fatty acids stearic acid is insoluble in water, but is soluble in ether and hot alcohol.’
    • ‘The catalyst is mostly insoluble in this solvent at room temperature so subsequent cooling allowed them to precipitate it for recovery.’
    • ‘When the number of carbons is greater than 12, the materials are nearly insoluble in water.’
    • ‘The gums are insoluble in alcohol while the resins or oleo-resins will pass completely into solution.’
    • ‘The resulting calcium carbonate is quite insoluble in water and sinks to the bottom.’
    • ‘The exact figures for wines vary slightly according to grape variety and region, but experience shows that about a half of the tartrate soluble in grape juice is insoluble in wine.’
    • ‘There it combines with carbon dioxide from the air to produce calcium carbonate (an insoluble material) and water.’
    • ‘Because these vitamins are insoluble in water, they tend not to be lost in cooking.’
    • ‘Important pigments include inorganic oxides and insoluble salts, which are mechanically mixed in a coating material.’
    • ‘It is virtually insoluble in water, but it will dissolve in organic solvents.’
    • ‘Bilirubin is difficult to excrete because internal hydrogen bonding makes it almost completely insoluble in water.’
    • ‘Biological molecules that are insoluble in aqueous solutions and soluble in organic solvents are classified as lipids.’
    • ‘They are generally insoluble in water, and dissolve in nonpolar solvents.’
    • ‘The reaction of calcium ions with oxalic acid produces an insoluble solid, calcium oxalate.’
    • ‘The calcite is an insoluble mineral, which upon death of the organisms sinks to the floor of the body of water and accumulates in the sediment.’
    • ‘The compound nickel dimethylglyoxime looks like strawberry-pink lipstick, insoluble in water.’
    • ‘Copal is a general term for very hard, insoluble resins, where the polymer is usually cross-linked to form a tough matrix.’
    • ‘The insoluble potassium perchlorate was removed by centrifugation at 500 g for 3 min.’
    • ‘When calcium and magnesium ions in the filtrate combine with phosphate radicals, either soluble or insoluble salts will form.’
    • ‘It runs into the gel, and always at the same size, but it's insoluble?’
    not soluble, indissoluble, incapable of dissolving
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/ˌinˈsälyəb(ə)l/ /ˌɪnˈsɑljəb(ə)l/ /inˈsälyəb(ə)l/ /ɪnˈsɑljəb(ə)l/


Late Middle English from Old French, or from Latin insolubilis, from in- ‘not’ + solubilis (see soluble).