eligible, illegible
These are more likely to be confused in casual speech than in considered writing. Eligible means ‘fit or entitled to be chosen’ (eligible for a pension) or ‘desirable, suitable’ (an eligible bachelor). Illegible means ‘(of writing) not clear enough to read’.
illegible, unreadable
In current use what is illegible is not clear enough to be decipherable (as in illegible handwriting), and what is unreadable can be physically read but is too dull to be worth reading or too difficult to be understood.

Modern English usage. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • illegible — il‧le‧gi‧ble [ɪˈledʒbl] adjective not written or printed clearly, and difficult or impossible to read: • Midwest refused to honor the check, saying that the endorsement was illegible. opposite legible * * * illegible UK US /ɪˈledʒəbl/ adjective …   Financial and business terms

  • Illegible — Il*leg i*ble, a. Incapable of being read; not legible; as, illegible handwriting; an illegible inscription. {Il*leg i*ble*ness}, n. {Il*leg i*bly}, adv. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • illegible — index indistinct, unclear Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • illegible — (adj.) 1630s, from assimilated form of IN (Cf. in ) (1) not, opposite of + LEGIBLE (Cf. legible). Related: Illegibly; illegibility …   Etymology dictionary

  • illegible — [adj] unreadable cacographic, crabbed, cramped, difficult to read, faint, hard to make out*, hieroglyphic, indecipherable, indistinct, obscure, scrawled, unclear, undecipherable, unintelligible; concepts 535,576 Ant. decipherable, legible,… …   New thesaurus

  • illegible — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ not clear enough to be read. DERIVATIVES illegibility noun illegibly adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • illegible — [i lej′ə bəl] adj. [< IN 2 + LEGIBLE] very difficult or impossible to read because badly written or printed, faded, etc. illegibility n. illegibly adv …   English World dictionary

  • illegible — adjective Date: 1580 not legible ; indecipherable < illegible writing > • illegibility noun • illegibly adverb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • illegible — illegibility, illegibleness, n. illegibly, adv. /i lej euh beuhl/, adj. not legible; impossible or hard to read or decipher because of poor handwriting, faded print, etc.: This letter is completely illegible. [1605 15; IL 2 + LEGIBLE] * * * …   Universalium

  • illegible — See illegible, unreadable …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

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