merciless

adjective
mer·​ci·​less | \ ˈmər-si-ləs How to pronounce merciless (audio) \

Definition of merciless

: having or showing no mercy : pitiless the merciless killing of innocent people

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Other Words from merciless

mercilessly adverb
mercilessness noun

Examples of merciless in a Sentence

the merciless killing of innocent people He has been merciless in his criticism of his opponent.

Recent Examples on the Web

For members of these groups, beauty standards have long been merciless, but for many trans and nonbinary people, conforming to society’s aesthetic expectations often feels impossible. Ludmila Leiva, Allure, "Meet Fluide, the Makeup Brand That Believes in the Power of Inclusion — Not Tokenism," 10 Sep. 2018 The nearly 200,000 African-Americans who served in the Union Army fought under peril of merciless death or enslavement. Drew Gilpin Faust, WSJ, "‘The War for the Common Soldier’ and ‘The Calculus of Violence’ Review: Billy Yank and Johnny Reb," 7 Dec. 2018 The Vuillard tone, ironic, persistent, aggressive—at times merciless—is well caught in English by the translator Mark Polizzotti. James Campbell, WSJ, "‘The Order of the Day’ Review: When Adolf Came," 27 Sep. 2018 Though the summer wedding season may be winding down, this is the second time a bridezilla has made headlines for merciless demands in recent weeks. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Bridezilla mocked after strict wedding rules go viral," 21 Sep. 2018 Yet the same merciless qualities that had fans worship at her dark altar made her hard to like. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "A Darkly Beautiful and Unflinching Testament to a Musical Icon’s Final Years," 2 Aug. 2018 The verdict from those assembled online, watching him try to catch his breath, was swift and merciless: Jay-Z, at 48, was washed. Zach Baron, GQ, "In Praise of Being Washed," 2 July 2018 One thing is clear: the Romanov family and their servants met their deaths in the most brutal, bloody and merciless way. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Inside the Romanov Family's Final Days," 1 July 2018 In spite of poking merciless fun at theater, the troupe’s and the playwright’s real affection for their art shines through. Patti Restivo, Howard County Times, "Laurel Mill Playhouse presents 'Laughing Stock'," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'merciless.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of merciless

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of merciless was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for merciless

merciless

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of merciless

: having or showing no mercy : very cruel or harsh

merciless

adjective
mer·​ci·​less | \ ˈmər-si-ləs How to pronounce merciless (audio) \

Kids Definition of merciless

: having no mercy or pity These people, she thought, would be merciless critics.— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Other Words from merciless

mercilessly adverb

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