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 But the trip soon takes a turn for the worse when convicts on the run, led by the merciless Dominick, suddenly invade the home. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2021 And Joyce, who has led Qantas since 2008, has been merciless. Angus Whitley, Fortune, 26 June 2021 Like Simard, Wohlleben is dedicated to counteracting the reductive understanding of Darwinism as a merciless, perpetual war of all against all. Robert Moor, The New Yorker, 10 June 2021 So, will any makeover tone down the merciless mocking of Latter-day Saints (the heart of the production)? David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 June 2021 Makeup, which never pretends to be anything other than cosmetic, is a temporary fix, but the ability to laugh at ourselves among friends goes a long way toward self-acceptance in a world of merciless judgment. New York Times, 10 May 2021 Streets of Fire centers on a merciless biker gang that kidnaps a rock singer named Ellen. Travis Bean, Forbes, 5 June 2021 And a chaotic gun battle between a makeshift army of orphans and a merciless paramilitary unit is emotionally riveting in its high drama even though both sides, for viewers, are virtually unknown. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 7 Apr. 2021 And in the days after the sighting, their colleagues were merciless. Washington Post, 24 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for merciless

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

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Last Updated

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Merciless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for merciless



English Language Learners Definition of merciless

: having or showing no mercy : very cruel or harsh


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

More from Merriam-Webster on merciless

Nglish: Translation of merciless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of merciless for Arabic Speakers


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