I'm looking for a word or even scientific term to describe something being so large it is beyond rational comprehension?

closed as off-topic by Skooba, marcellothearcane, Scott, user067531, jimm101 Feb 23 '18 at 21:09

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  • Are you looking for a noun, or an adjective? – spoko Feb 22 '18 at 17:33
  • But scientists (specifically, pure mathematicians) routinely deal with numbers that are incredibly large. For example, imagine our entire universe was the equivalent of a single atom in a larger "containing" universe, then sum up all the "contained" atoms within that. Mathematicians comprehend perfectly well that - big as it is - that number is actually closer to zero than it is to an infinite number. – FumbleFingers Feb 22 '18 at 17:54
  • And, of course, mathematicians understand many different values of infinity.   (The technical term for that is ‘‘transfinite cardinals’’.) – Scott Feb 23 '18 at 20:20

I have two suggestions.

The first, fitting your description so large it is beyond rational comprehension, is inconceivable:

impossible to imagine or think of (Cambridge)

Or even just go straight for incomprehensibly big / numerous / etc.

One of the most appropriate adjectives (as it works in so many contexts), though, is astronomical, which fits the sense of scale you evoked.


It is so large it is imponderable.


1. not ponderable; that cannot be precisely determined, measured, or evaluated. noun
2. an imponderable thing, force, agency, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster

  • 1
    Please cite quotations correctly. A link is not enough, and there isn't even a link here. – Andrew Leach Feb 22 '18 at 18:34
  • @AndrewLeach aye aye and thanks ... i thought i had but obviously i did not! – lbf Feb 22 '18 at 19:28

Immeasurable could suggest that it is beyond the scope of human measurement:

incapable of being measured; limitless - Dictionary.com

Likewise inordinate could suggest something beyond normal limits:

not within proper or reasonable limits; immoderate; excessive - Dictionary.com

Prodigious means extraordinarily large, but not so much so that it's beyond comprehension:

extraordinary in size, amount, extent, degree, force, etc. - Dictionary.com

Or you could simply add "incomprehensibly" or "numinously" before any adjective meaning large, e.g. "numinously massive", "incomprehensibly huge".


I would suggest 'immense'.

  1. Unmeasured; so great that it has not been or cannot be measured; immeasurably large; of boundless extent; infinite. ? Obs.



I suggest

  • Infinite: Having no boundaries or limits; impossible to measure or calculate

  • Transcendent: 1. Surpassing others; preeminent or supreme; 2. superior or supreme.

  • Inscrutable: Difficult to understand or interpret; impenetrable

  • Incomparable: 1. Being such that comparison is impossible; incommensurable; 2. So outstanding as to be beyond comparison; unsurpassed.

  • Incommensurable: 1. Impossible to measure or compare; 2. Lacking a common quality on which to make a comparison.

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