un·​con·​scio·​na·​ble ˌən-ˈkän(t)-sh(ə-)nə-bəl How to pronounce unconscionable (audio)
: shockingly unfair or unjust
unconscionable sales practices
: excessive, unreasonable
found an unconscionable number of defects in the car
: not guided or controlled by conscience : unscrupulous
an unconscionable villain
unconscionableness noun
unconscionably adverb

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When Do You Use unconscionable?

Something that can't be done in good conscience is unconscionable, and such acts can range from betraying a confidence to mass murder. For a five-syllable word, unconscionable is actually quite common. This is partly because it isn't always used very seriously; so, for example, a critic is free to call a fat new book "an unconscionable waste of trees". In law, an unconscionable contract is one that, even though it was signed by both parties, is so ridiculous that a judge will just throw it out.

Example Sentences

They have had to endure unconscionable delays. an unconscionable number of errors for an important government report
Recent Examples on the Web Leaving Paul Whelan behind for this is unconscionable. Libby Cathey, ABC News, 8 Dec. 2022 His words and actions were unconscionable, and the impact of the aftermath of this incident will not be kept secret. Elaine Aradillas, Peoplemag, 14 Nov. 2022 People living out of their vehicles and becoming homeless due to rent being unaffordable is unconscionable. Sam Kmack, The Arizona Republic, 15 Oct. 2022 Preposterous and unconscionable analogies to Nazi Germany became the order of the day. Frida Ghitis, CNN, 10 Aug. 2022 Make no mistake, this is the same argument studios have used since the early days of the industry to justify unreasonable, unfair and unconscionable practices. Duncan Crabtree-ireland, Variety, 5 Aug. 2022 But the Kyle Rittenhouse trial that concluded last month indicates the risks of confusing unconscionable acts with criminal ones. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 3 Dec. 2021 The very idea of dialling the Russian country code while Russia continues to kill Ukrainians was unconscionable. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 14 June 2022 For some, the list was unconscionable but juvenile. Caterina Bulgarella, Forbes, 24 June 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of unconscionable was in 1565

Dictionary Entries Near unconscionable

Cite this Entry

“Unconscionable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unconscionable. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​con·​scio·​na·​ble ˌən-ˈkänch-(ə-)nə-bəl How to pronounce unconscionable (audio)
: not guided or controlled by conscience
an unconscionable villain
: not being in agreement with what is right or just : unreasonable, excessive
unconscionably adverb

Legal Definition


un·​con·​scio·​na·​ble ˌən-ˈkän-chə-nə-bəl How to pronounce unconscionable (audio)
: unreasonably unfair to one party, marked by oppression, or otherwise unacceptably offensive to public policy
an unconscionable clause
finds the contract…to have been unconscionable at the time it was madeUniform Commercial Code
compare conscionable
unconscionably adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on unconscionable

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