from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Difficult to fathom or understand; impenetrable. See Synonyms at mysterious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Difficult or impossible to comprehend, fathom, or interpret.
  • n. One who or that which is inscrutable; a person, etc. that cannot be comprehended.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Unsearchable; incapable of being searched into and understood by inquiry or study; impossible or difficult to be explained or accounted for satisfactorily; obscure; incomprehensible.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Incapable of being searched into or scrutinized; impenetrable to inquiry or investigation; incognizable: as, the ways of Providence are often inscrutable.
  • Synonyms Impenetrable, undiscoverable, incomprehensible, unsearchable, mysterious.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of an obscure nature


Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin īnscrūtābilis : in-, not; see in-1 + scrūtārī, to scrutinize; see scrutiny.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin inscrutabilis, from in- ("not") + scrutare ("to examine"), corresponding to in- +‎ scrutable (Wiktionary)



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  • Good one!

    November 7, 2009

  • Those Catholic girls liked to tease, but without a ring they were inscrutable

    November 6, 2009