When your friend scribbles a note to you and you can’t figure out what it says, it’s because her handwriting is illegible — it’s unreadable.

The adjective illegible is often used to describe handwriting, because people tend to have their own styles and sometimes write in a pretty messy way. But it can also refer to printed words that are faded or for some other reason difficult to read. If you leave a book open in the rain, the print will probably become illegible. If you’re walking in an old graveyard, the writing on the tombstones is often illegible.

Definitions of illegible
  1. adjective
    (of handwriting, print, etc.) not legible
    illegible handwriting”
    dirty, foul, marked-up
    (of a manuscript) defaced with changes
    indecipherable, unclear, undecipherable, unreadable
    not easily deciphered
    see moresee less
    (of handwriting, print, etc.) capable of being read or deciphered
    clean, fair
    (of a manuscript) having few alterations or corrections
    clear, decipherable, readable
    easily deciphered
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Word Family

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