piti·​less | \ˈpi-ti-ləs \

Definition of pitiless 

: devoid of pity : harsh, cruel

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Other Words from pitiless

pitilessly adverb
pitilessness noun

Examples of pitiless in a Sentence

The soldiers were pitiless toward their enemy. gave the beggar in the street a pitiless look and kept on walking

Recent Examples on the Web

Others take the voice of Charles, directing an impassioned j’accuse against his pitiless creator. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: From Great War to Trojan War," 6 Sep. 2018 The video clip, directed by the Ethiopian photographer and artist Aïda Muluneh, makes the desert a picturesque fashion backdrop for Ms. Diawara and a pitiless passage for a migrant young man. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "The Playlist: Sade’s Haunting Lullaby, and 11 More New Songs," 9 Mar. 2018 Dark, explosive, pitiless, destructive, tornadoes are nature at its inhuman extreme, arousing awe and terror, the ultimate in the untamable and unknowable. John Timpane, Philly.com, "'Man Who Caught the Storm': A tempestuous, true tale of a legendary storm-chaser," 18 May 2018 The writer’s calling is to set that memory in the amber of his prose; in Proust’s pitiless formulation, art is all, life is nothing. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "Gerald Murnane’s Endless Island," 4 May 2018 Lucian, eager to have a younger person in the role, accepts, underscoring the idea that growing old in the hyper-competitive drag milieu can exact a pitiless price. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, "The runway is ablaze, but ‘Wig Out!’ skims its glittering surface," 1 May 2018 And Trump, like Cohn, got away with it all under the ostensibly pitiless magnifying glass of New York. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "The Original Donald Trump," 29 Apr. 2018 Here, as throughout, the framing remains steady, a visual choice that can feel like a long, hard, pitiless stare. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Golden Exits,’ Ties That Bind (and Cut Too)," 8 Feb. 2018 The pitiless spotlights glaring above did little to help the matter. David Weiss, Newsweek, "World’s Most Expensive Theater Ticket Is All About You, Not Springsteen," 18 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pitiless.' 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 pitiless

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for pitiless

Last Updated

21 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for pitiless

The first known use of pitiless was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for pitiless



English Language Learners Definition of pitiless

: very cruel : having or showing no pity

: very harsh or severe


piti·​less | \ˈpi-ti-ləs \

Kids Definition of pitiless

: having no pity : cruel

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More from Merriam-Webster on pitiless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pitiless

Spanish Central: Translation of pitiless

Nglish: Translation of pitiless for Spanish Speakers

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