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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
To read it is to recall the themes that Coetzee has pursued in all his novels--the reality of suffering, the ineffability that lies beyond language-brought forth, honed, burnished by an experiment with form.
this ineffability or opacity in occultic thought is both isolating and nightmarish.
exceptionalism" provides an adequate account of quirks in the national psyche, try talking to Irish scholars about the incomparability, the ineffability, and the like of Irish history, culture, and politics.
We find his primary emphasis iterated in the claim that "[t]he essence of things is ineffable and so incompatible with the human mind," where ineffability is said to refer ...
Young begins with two points: first, that earth is a "principle of holiness," that it is what consecrates the world and "invests it with 'dignity and splendour,'" as Heidegger says (38); second, more austerely, that it is a "region of ineffability" comprising alternative horizons of disclosure essentially closed off and unintelligible to us in virtue of the particularity of our world (40).
Bourgeois has deployed a typically Duchampian gesture to create a new space for the space/object that remains a sculpture "without losing, from the imaginary ineffability of the cinematic, the shocking quality of encountering the play of sexuality through objects and their 'scene"' (Pollock, p.
The last section of the book, "Ineffability," presents the rationalist, idealistic project of technoromanticism as unraveling in the face of the "narratives of rupture, paradox, and nondeterminancy" (185) of surrealism, Lacanian theory, and "the aporias and contradictions" (255) confronted in reader-response theory.
The nada experience (Kavanaugh & Rodriguez, 1973) emphasizes realizing what God is not, while one endures the emptiness for the sake of realizing the ineffability of God.
The other pole exists in stark opposition to the first, and long predates it: the "aesthetic" approach is founded upon the gulf between God and humanity which finds its primary expression in the ineffability of the aesthetic; its natural medium is in the elevated strains of high liturgy, and its corollary effect is the elevation of the mediating institution which renders the gulf crossable.
I draw from this ineffability of the sign an inscription, as in Kirby's analysis, that is simultaneously a writing in/on the flesh of the skin (not just the overlay of inscription on a natural substrate), a break down of the distinction between text and matter.
Both fail to acknowledge the "very ineffability of human consciousness," without which there is nothing for meaning to be meaningful for.
At that story's centre is the enduring ineffability of human consciousness, the peculiar ability in humans (and maybe in other entities; we ought to be open-minded on the issue) for existence to be like something: to have a mood and particularity and texture that is experienced directly only by the subject, that is irreducible to anything else.