insoluble late 14c., "unable to be loosened," from L. insolubilis "that cannot be loosened," from in- "not" (see IN- (Cf. in-) (1)) + solubilis (see SOLUBLE (Cf. soluble)). Figurative use, of problems, etc., is from late 14c.
It was a tacit conviction of the learned during the Middle Ages that no such thing as an insoluble question existed. There might be matters that presented serious difficulties, but if you could lay them before the right man -- some Arab in Spain, for instance, omniscient by reason of studies into the details of which it was better not to inquire -- he would give you a conclusive answer. The real trouble was only to find your man. [Gertrude Bell, "The Desert and the Sown," 1907]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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  • insoluble — [ ɛ̃sɔlybl ] adj. • issoluble 1220; lat. insolubilis 1 ♦ Qu on ne peut résoudre. ⇒ impossible. S attaquer à un problème insoluble (cf. Chercher la quadrature du cercle). 2 ♦ (1762) Qui ne peut se dissoudre. Substance insoluble dans l eau, dans un …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Insoluble — In*sol u*ble, a. [L. insolubilis indissoluble, that can not be loosed: cf. F. insoluble. See {In } not, and {Soluble}, and cf. {Insolvable}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Not soluble; in capable or difficult of being dissolved, as by a liquid; as, chalk is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • insoluble — Incapaz de disolverse normalmente en un determinado solvente, como una sustancia insoluble en agua. Diccionario Mosby Medicina, Enfermería y Ciencias de la Salud, Ediciones Hancourt, S.A. 1999 …   Diccionario médico

  • insoluble — insoluble, unsolvable Insoluble relates to the meanings of dissolve as well as solve, and therefore refers to difficulties, questions, and problems that cannot be answered as well as to substances that cannot be absorbed in liquid. Unsolvable is… …   Modern English usage

  • insoluble — index difficult, incomprehensible, inexplicable, inextricable, infrangible, inscrutable, inseparable, insurmountable …   Law dictionary

  • insoluble — [adj] mysterious, unable to be solved or answered baffling, difficult, impenetrable, indecipherable, inexplicable, inextricable, irresolvable, mystifying, obscure, unaccountable, unconcluded, unfathomable, unresolved, unsolvable, unsolved;… …   New thesaurus

  • insoluble — Insoluble, Insolubilis, Indissolubilis …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • insoluble — (Del lat. insolubĭlis). 1. adj. Que no puede disolverse ni diluirse. 2. Que no se puede resolver o aclarar …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • insoluble — ► ADJECTIVE 1) impossible to solve. 2) (of a substance) incapable of being dissolved. DERIVATIVES insolubility noun insolubly adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • insoluble — [in säl′yə bəl] adj. [ME insolible < L insolubilis] 1. that cannot be solved; unsolvable 2. that cannot be dissolved; not soluble insolubility n. insolubleness insolubly adv …   English World dictionary

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