un·​ed·​i·​fy·​ing ˌən-ˈe-də-ˌfī-iŋ How to pronounce unedifying (audio)
: not morally uplifting or instructive : not edifying
… had imagined a possibility of framing an interesting, and perhaps not an unedifying, tale out of the incidents of the life of a doomed individual …Sir Walter Scott
It is possible to write an edifying biography about an unedifying life.Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
unedifyingly adverb

Examples of unedifying in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web How this state of affairs came about is a complex and unedifying story. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 21 Mar. 2023 The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial was, from gavel to gavel, a singularly baffling, unedifying and sad spectacle. New York Times, 2 June 2022 As the President’s apologists and attorneys go about their unedifying task of defending the indefensible, Meese may serve as their role model. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 10 Oct. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unedifying.' 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

1641, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unedifying was in 1641

Dictionary Entries Near unedifying

Cite this Entry

“Unedifying.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unedifying. Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

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