un·​alien·​able | \ ˌən-ˈāl-yə-nə-bəl How to pronounce unalienable (audio) , -ˈā-lē-ə- \

Definition of unalienable

: impossible to take away or give up : inalienable We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.United States Declaration of Independence … it's hard to say whether the partisan noise could influence an election, or whether it's New York simply exercising its unalienable right to be New York.— Audra D. S. Burch

Examples of unalienable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Our form of government must navigate the difficult tension between democracy, the idea that governments derive their power from the consent of the governed, and liberalism, the idea that the governed have certain unalienable rights. WSJ, 10 May 2022 Most famously, Thomas Jefferson declared the pursuit of happiness an unalienable right in the Declaration of Independence. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 5 May 2022 Where many think of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s distinctive sound as something unalienable from its music director, or even its musicians, under Wolfe’s leadership, the Chicago Symphony Chorus became an expert shape-shifter. Hannah Edgar, chicagotribune.com, 24 Feb. 2022 But the right to celebrity is considered unalienable. Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2022 Murray goes on to say in the ensuing chapter that the nation’s soul is bound up in the founding ideals that affirm we are all created equal, with certain unalienable rights. Washington Post, 25 June 2021 Along with property rights, religious liberty is the cornerstone of our unalienable rights. Michael R. Pompeo, National Review, 23 June 2021 America’s founding document states that the pursuit of happiness is an unalienable right. The Atlantic, 13 May 2021 This note was a promise that all men -- yes, black men as well as white men -- would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Fox News, 27 Aug. 2013 See More

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

First Known Use of unalienable

circa 1611, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of unalienable was circa 1611

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unalienable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unalienable. Accessed 24 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for unalienable


un·​alien·​able | \ ˌən-ˈāl-yə-nə-bəl, -ˈā-lē-ə- How to pronounce unalienable (audio) \

Legal Definition of unalienable

: not alienable : inalienable


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