I’m looking for the word that describes a gift or debt that is so great it is not repayable (such as a parent’s gift of life. The child can never equally repay that). When I was in university, I learned there was a word for this.

I’ve tried googling this, but all that comes up are links regarding money. Can anyone help me out?

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    Augustine wrote of his god's plenitude as an incommensurate gift. – AmI Mar 28 at 9:58
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    Are you sure you're thinking of a noun (as you describe it)? Because adjectives come to mind: invaluable, priceless, inestimable – CRGreen Mar 28 at 10:03
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    Would unrepayable be too simple? – Yosef Baskin May 3 at 14:41


incomparable in·com·pa·ra·ble

that cannot be compared; specif., having no common basis of comparison; incommensurable beyond comparison; unequaled; matchless: incomparable skill

incomparable adjective

Being such that comparison is impossible; incommensurable. So outstanding as to be beyond comparison; unsurpassed.


  1. Of that unique and incomparable collection not a vestige remained!
  2. How hard she would strive to be worthy of this incomparable gift!
  3. She fled along the cliff-path and an incomparable horror was in her soul.
| improve this answer | |
  • The term incomparable means that the thing in question cannot be compared, which raises the question: cannot be compared to what? Unless the context makes that clear, the expression is incomplete. What the OP is looking for is a word that means specifically that the thing cannot be compared to anything that one might attempt to offer as a repayment, not just the word that means that it cannot be compared to something or other. – jsw29 May 3 at 17:40
  • the gift stands alone - it cannot be compared to anything. Comparison is impossible. – tblue May 3 at 17:48

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