Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.


1. Incapable of being expressed; indescribable or unutterable: ineffable joy.
2. Not to be uttered; taboo: the ineffable name of God.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin ineffābilis : in-, not; see in-1 + effābilis, utterable (from effārī, to utter : ex-, ex- + fārī, to speak; see bhā- in Indo-European roots).]

in·ef′fa·bil′i·ty, in·ef′fa·ble·ness n.
in·ef′fa·bly adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.ineffably - to an inexpressible degreeineffably - to an inexpressible degree; "she was looking very young tonight, and, as usual, indescribably beautiful, in a simple strapless dress of a green and white silky cotton"


[ɪnˈefəblɪ] ADV (liter) her face was ineffably well-bredsu cara era de una distinción indescriptible or (liter) inefable


adv (form: = indescribably) → unsäglich (geh), → unaussprechlich; Walters is ineffably entertainingWalters ist unbeschreiblich unterhaltsam
References in classic literature ?
It is an ineffably oozy, stringy affair, most frequently found in the tubs of sperm, after a prolonged squeezing, and subsequent decanting.
He said, and on his Son with Rayes direct Shon full, he all his Father full exprest Ineffably into his face receiv'd, And thus the filial Godhead answering spake.
So, then, he felt himself ineffably superior to me in every respect
He took it up, and found himself plunged in an atmosphere unlike any he had ever breathed in books; so warm, so rich, and yet so ineffably tender, that it gave a new and haunting beauty to the most elementary of human passions.
world, perhaps, excepting always the ineffably insipid diversion
Those leaping horses, striking sparks from the cobbles in their forward lunge, were creatures to be ineffably admired.
She stopped a moment, and I swear her face was ineffably holy as she said, 'I could have made him a good wife.
The first breath on opening the door is so ineffably pure that it makes me gasp, and I feel a black and sinful object in the midst of all the spotlessness.
At higher and higher levels, these increasingly abstract-universal sets of standards (to govern selection among lower-level sets of standards) approach asymptotically, without ever reaching, the ultimate abstract-universal--the at-the-last ineffably abstract and universal--ledger of natural rights.
A bad situation is steadily worsening as the ineffably Reverend Pat Robertson's myrmidons sneakily get themselves elected to school boards (3,000 in the last couple of years).
He recounts matters disgusting, ugly, raunchy, repulsive, sexually graphic, ineffably sad, occasionally joy-filled--all of which combine to make a novel larger than life.
Instead it borrowed a vernacular American term and bent it, much as the blues is known for bending notes so that they ineffably mirror the high-lonesome condition of adulthood.