un·​em·​ployed | \ ˌən-im-ˈplȯid \

Definition of unemployed

: not employed:
a : not being used
b : not engaged in a gainful occupation
c : not invested

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Other Words from unemployed

unemployed noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for unemployed




employed, working

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Examples of unemployed in a Sentence

the plant closings left a significant portion of the town's population unemployed

Recent Examples on the Web

People are desperate for jobs, with almost a quarter of the working-age population unemployed or underutilized, according to the World Bank. Nabih Bulos, The Seattle Times, "Baghdad, once a jewel among Arab capitals, is barely functional," 28 Jan. 2019 Furloughed federal employees who weren’t working all of last week due to the shutdown should be classified as unemployed on temporary layoff, according to the guidance. Eric Morath, WSJ, "With Back Pay Promised, Job-Growth Streak Likely to Continue," 16 Jan. 2019 That’s the only conclusion one can reach as an unemployed, socially conscious — and vocal — former 49ers starter files a collusion grievance against them and the league. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Former 49er Eric Reid would have an NFL job ... if league owners had learned anything," 2 May 2018 At the time, Susan was an unemployed charity worker living alone with her cat Pebbles. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Untold Story of 'AGT' Star Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" Audition," 19 Dec. 2018 Growth has been driven by adding unemployed workers back into the labor force. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The big question about today’s economy — are wages going to start growing?," 23 Aug. 2018 The followers also reached out to young unemployed men who felt abandoned by the central government. Brahima Ouedraogo, Fox News, "In heart of West Africa, Burkina Faso faces rising extremism," 15 Aug. 2018 The attack occurred outside the Shanghai World Foreign Language Primary School at about 11:30 a.m. Bystanders helped grab the suspected assailant, whom the police described as a 29-year-old unemployed man who had moved to Shanghai this month. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Shanghai Knife Attack Kills Two Schoolchildren," 28 June 2018 The good news is that this year's graduates are entering a booming job market, with more open jobs than unemployed workers. CBS News, "LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner on the importance of interpersonal skills," 13 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unemployed

Last Updated

4 Feb 2019

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

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More Definitions for unemployed



English Language Learners Definition of unemployed

: having no job : not employed


un·​em·​ployed | \ ˌən-im-ˈplȯid \

Kids Definition of unemployed

: having no job : not employed unemployed workers

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irregularly rounded

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