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.

Examples of unconscionable in a Sentence

They have had to endure unconscionable delays. an unconscionable number of errors for an important government report
Recent Examples on the Web Paul Sheldon, president of the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, said terminating an officer injured on the job before offering them medical retirement was unconscionable. The Arizona Republic, 7 Apr. 2024 But its importance extends beyond 1937, and beyond even registering the unconscionable stupidity of violence and war. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2024 In fact, scores of young police officers have died brutal and unconscionable deaths at the hands of the gangs, including G9, in the past two years. Amy Wilentz, The Atlantic, 7 Mar. 2024 Advocates for continuing aid have argued that the cutoff is unconscionable at a time when famine in Gaza is imminent. Margaret Brennan, CBS News, 21 Mar. 2024 The massive destruction of lives in Israel and Gaza is unconscionable. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 8 Mar. 2024 For Blinken to announce this in the middle of a war and when the Jewish Sabbath already has begun in Israel is unconscionable. Benjamin Weinthal, Fox News, 3 Mar. 2024 The cost of indifference and inaction is unconscionable. Maryanne Murray Buechner, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 In the midst of these intersecting crises, wasting public and private resources on a new nuclear arms race is unconscionable. William Hartung, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unconscionable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 24 Apr. 2024.

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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