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Incommunicado is a word that entered the English language in the mid-1800s. We will examine the definition of the word incommunicado, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Incommunicado describes someone who is not communicating with others, whether by choice or by force. A person who is incommunicado may be unwilling to communicate with others or unable because of physical circumstances, illness or imprisonment of some kind. Incommunicado may be used as an adjective or as an adverb. It is derived from the Spanish word incomunicado, which is the past participle of the verb incomunicar, which means to isolate or cut off from communication. Even though the word incommunicado has a slight variance from the original Spanish spelling, it is considered a borrowed word or a loan word. The English spelling is most probably patterned after the spelling of the word communicate. With the advent of cell phones and the internet, being incommunicado is a situation that is becoming more and more rare.


Dozens of people on a highway in Puerto Rico resorted to parking their cars and walking around, cellphones in hand, trying to get a connection, nearly a week after Hurricane Maria left much of the island incommunicado. (The Los Angeles Times)

According to the source, what further irked Mr. Kejriwal was Mr. Kutty’s “decision to remain incommunicado” after “absenting himself”. (The Hindu)

Halya Coynash of Ukraine’s Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group said: “There are serious questions to be asked regarding the Belarusian authorities’ apparent complicity in this abduction, as well as grave concern about Russia’s motives for holding the young man incommunicado for so long.” (The Irish Times)