incomprehensible

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj incomprehensible difficult to understand "the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible"- A. Einstein"
    • adj incomprehensible incapable of being explained or accounted for "inexplicable errors","left the house at three in the morning for inexplicable reasons"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Incomprehensible Not capable of being comprehended or understood; beyond the reach of the human intellect; inconceivable. "And all her numbered stars that seem to roll
      Spaces incomprehensible ."
    • Incomprehensible Not capable of being contained within limits. "An infinite and incomprehensible substance."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • incomprehensible Not to be comprehended or comprised within limits; illimitable.
    • incomprehensible Not to be comprehended or understood; that cannot be grasped by the mind.
    • incomprehensible That is incomprehensible which may be known or believed as a fact, but of which the mode of existence or of operation, or of coming to pass, cannot be understood.
    • n incomprehensible A thing or being that cannot be circumscribed within limits or that cannot be grasped by the intellect.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Incomprehensible in-kom-pre-hen′si-bl not capable of being understood: not to be contained within limits
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Quotations

  • Constantin Brancusi
    Constantin Brancusi
    “The function of art is to make that understood which in the form of argument would be incomprehensible.”
  • Alexander Douglas Home
    Alexander Douglas Home
    “There are only two problems in my life. The political ones are insoluble and the economic ones are incomprehensible.”
  • Martin Luther
    Martin%20Luther
    “In our sad condition our only consolation is the expectancy of another life. Here below all is incomprehensible.”
  • Antonin Artaud
    Antonin%20Artaud
    “All true language is incomprehensible, like the chatter of a beggar's teeth.”
  • Jane Austen
    Jane%20Austen
    “It is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage.”
  • Albert Einstein
    Albert%20Einstein
    “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. incomprehensibilis,: cf. F. incompréhensible,. See In- not, and Comprehensible

Usage

In literature:

His ideas about things, his attitude towards things, were wholly and exasperatingly incomprehensible to her.
"If Winter Comes" by A.S.M. Hutchinson
Her dresses had been taken from the wardrobes and slashed from top to hem by the swords of these incomprehensible barbarians.
"The Living Present" by Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
The Smouse, by Fannin, has the modern merit of incomprehensibility.
"Reviews" by Oscar Wilde
What was love, what the other incomprehensible shaping influences?
"Là-bas" by J. K. Huysmans
But, on the other hand, it was all very incomprehensible.
"Jaffery" by William J. Locke
There were in these movements, as in every dance, mysterious and perhaps incomprehensible elements.
"The Redemption of David Corson" by Charles Frederic Goss
Yet this childish friendship was so new and incomprehensible a thing to her that she did not know how to express it.
"The Quest of the Silver Fleece" by W. E. B. Du Bois
He is also called the Great, the Incomprehensible, the Wonderful and the Immaculate.
"The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1"
Rachel was, as usual, quite incomprehensible.
"Garman and Worse" by Alexander Lange Kielland
To him Kenny was an incomprehensible source of turbulence.
"Kenny" by Leona Dalrymple
Declamation is no longer wanted in operas, and the singers make the works incomprehensible by not articulating the words.
"Musical Memories" by Camille Saint-Saëns
Balthasar, however, was not the man to let the strange, incomprehensible star escape him.
"I.N.R.I." by Peter Rosegger
To them the girl was as incomprehensible as any jungle savage.
"The House of the Misty Star" by Fannie Caldwell Macaulay
He was flying high, now, and an illogical and incomprehensible hope came to him.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930" by Various
Beads of perspiration started on his brow as her face registered blank incomprehension.
"Slaves of Mercury" by Nat Schachner
But to Jean, who was quick to fall back into his own reveries, her voice died away into incomprehensible jargon.
"Mlle. Fouchette" by Charles Theodore Murray
It sounds incomprehensible to a man, but a woman would understand.
"An Unknown Lover" by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
Everything was incomprehensible to me, and there was none to explain.
"From Sea to Sea" by Rudyard Kipling
But he ascribed it to the incomprehensible nature of womankind.
"Thirty" by Howard Vincent O'Brien
She had unconsciously acquired this incomprehensible habit of waitresses.
"A Bed of Roses" by W. L. George
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In poetry:

A sleepless night
Suffering
Luckless inspiration
Incomprehensible song Solitude Under the banners of melancholy
"Final Songs" by Migjeni
But Nathan, where's the harm, if I may speak,
Of fancying one's self by an angel saved,
Rather than by a man? Methinks it brings us
Just so much the nearer the incomprehensive
First cause of preservation.
"Nathan The Wise - Act I" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Whom will you cry to, heart? More and more lonely,
your path struggles on through incomprehensible
mankind. All the more futile perhaps
for keeping to its direction,
keeping on toward the future,
toward what has been lost.
"Lament (Whom will you cry to, heart?)" by Rainer Maria Rilke
Thou Lord, incomprehensible, unknown,
To Sense, we bow, at thy exalted Throne!
While thus we beg thy excellence to feel,
Thy Sacred Spirit, in our hearts reveal
And make each one of us, that grace partake
Which thus we ask for the Redeemer's Sake
"On The Death of The Rev'd Dr. Sewall" by Phillis Wheatley

In news:

It remains to be seen whether enough voters are serious about reducing the almost incomprehensible debt and deficits that the president and Congress continue to authorize.
I've never met her, and it's a good thing, because if I ever did, I'd likely collapse into a puddle of incomprehensible gushing.
The passing of time has made The Holocaust seem more incomprehensible.
The developers of the mosque near Ground Zero want to tap federal funding set aside to help lower Manhattan recover after 9/11, further enraging opponents who found the request incomprehensible.
He had studied aircraft design in college and spent years at an electrics engineering outfit, but he still found the instructions completely incomprehensible.
But when it comes to what he'd actually do on the civilian side of the foreign policy ledger, Romney's agenda is as incomprehensible as his budget math.
When a school board vote has the potential to alter the very fabric of our county, the suggestion that Debra Goldman used high school-esque romantic revenge as a motivator is incomprehensible and enraging.
When thinking about progressive rock, or "prog rock" for short, a few things likely come to mind: gratuitously long pieces, incomprehensible concept albums and Roger Dean's cheesy fantasy landscape cover art.
Interminably long, dull and incomprehensible, John Carter'' evokes pretty much every SciFi classic from the past 50 years without having any real personality of its own.
They witness and sometimes experience violence, suffer hunger and disruption, see their parents helpless and unable to protect them from vast, frightening and incomprehensible forces.
Todd Akin's comment ' morally incomprehensible'.
New Trailer for Cloud Atlas Is Even More Incomprehensible.
In that instant, something incomprehensible had happened.
As far as sub-literate, incomprehensible pieces of garbage are concerned, ' Silent Hill: Revelation 3D' is one of the year's best.
They were modern-day slaves , a concept incomprehensible to most Americans.
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In science:

While it is true that extremely short programs, for example those of less than 5 symbols, do not generate very interesting environments, we found that by the time we got to programs of length 30, many environments (at least to our eyes) seemed quite incomprehensible.
An Approximation of the Universal Intelligence Measure
This spacetime geometric explanation of gravity was almost incomprehensible for generations whose intuitions had been shaped by the success of a Galileian ontology.
Symmetry Doubling: Doubly General Relativity
Faced with a sudden blue screen, one may be forgiven for calling these devices incomprehensible and capricious, even malevolent.
Interplay between Network Topology and Dynamics in Neural Systems
Applying deletion on identity blindly to the whole message list might make the generated text incomprehensible because readers might have to recover too much implicit information from the sentence.
Conciseness through Aggregation in Text Generation
Suddenly, they were able to resolve many old and tough puzzles like the “incomprehensible” and mysterious stability of atoms with respect to an expected steady radiation of their moving electrons.
PT-symmetry, ghosts, supersymmetry and Klein-Gordon equation
He endorses his argument with an almost incomprehensible example with barrels of wine, which shows clearly that he does not know how to use mathematical theory in applications to problems of the physical world5 .
A Comment on "On Some Contradictory Computations in Multi-dimensional Mathematics"
This difference should have been easily discernible as a rather steep slope in the difference (ERA-2005 − IAU 2000) in the top curve in Fig. 3 of Paper 2; why it does not, remains incomprehensible.
Comments on the ERA-2005 numerical theory of Earth rotation
For example, pmax can be used as I for the emotion ”pleasure of understanding — annoyance of incomprehension” (accordingly, I0 is the typical value of pmax ensuring the satisfactory course of the process).
Computer Model of a "Sense of Humour". I. General Algorithm
The examples are incomprehension of a joke due to the absence in memory of a necessary image, peculiar view of the ”norm” while perceiving the comic, the forcing out of laughter by secondary emotions (see ) and so on.
Computer Model of a "Sense of Humour". I. General Algorithm
They were asked to grade how well the summary could be understood, using the ratings “Incomprehensible,” “Somewhat comprehensible” or “Comprehensible”.
Inferring Strategies for Sentence Ordering in Multidocument News Summarization
Seven original summaries were considered incomprehensible by their judge, two were somewhat comprehensible, and only one original summary was fully comprehensible.
Inferring Strategies for Sentence Ordering in Multidocument News Summarization
The reordered summaries obtained better grades overall — five summaries were fully comprehensible, two were somewhat comprehensible, while three remained incomprehensible.
Inferring Strategies for Sentence Ordering in Multidocument News Summarization
To assess the statistical significance of our results, we applied the Fisher exact test to our data set, conflating “Incomprehensible” and “Somewhat comprehensible” summaries into one category to obtain a 2x2 table.
Inferring Strategies for Sentence Ordering in Multidocument News Summarization
One piece of evidence against this statement is that, as shown in section 2, some orderings yield incomprehensible texts and thus should be avoided.
Inferring Strategies for Sentence Ordering in Multidocument News Summarization
He argues that (1b) should be treated as grammatical (i.e., possessing a well-formed syntactic analysis), but that its incomprehensibility arises from an inability of the human sentence processing mechanism to find that analysis.
Proof Nets and the Complexity of Processing Center-Embedded Constructions
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