un·​en·​light·​ened ˌən-in-ˈlī-tᵊnd How to pronounce unenlightened (audio)
: having or showing a lack of necessary knowledge or understanding : not enlightened
… his disregard for society's margins seems particularly unenlightened.Genevieve Stuttaford
… an audience of unenlightened laymen.Joyce Carol Oates

Examples of unenlightened in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most gratifying in Newnham’s investigation is how Hite reclaimed her own positive sense of self in exile through some key female friendships: a love goddess finding refuge with like-minded souls after a bruising battle with unenlightened, resentful mortals. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2023 By today’s standards, looking for a single ideal of beauty feels antiquated and unenlightened. Rhonda Garelick, New York Times, 17 Jan. 2023 Both novels engage with the ways that ostensibly academic conversations, like the riverside chats that stud Brideshead or the Greek classes with Julian in The Secret History, can hold erotic subtexts whose meaning might elude the unenlightened eavesdropper. Jo Livingstone, The New Republic, 22 Oct. 2021 Today, many scholars dismiss the imperialist, racist logics propounded by the founders of modern international relations theory as merely reflecting the prejudices of an unenlightened era: sins not egregious enough to diminish the value of the sinners’ good works. Zachariah Mampilly, Foreign Affairs, 6 Sep. 2022 Some supporters say that opinion is culturally unenlightened, as rabbit, common in grocery stores and markets in Europe, is a traditional staple in the diets of many foreign countries, and thousands of natives of those countries now live in Connecticut. Susan Dunne, courant.com, 21 Mar. 2022 Hops, for the unenlightened. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, 23 May 2022 When a country like Syria is engulfed in a civil war, it’s treated as tragic, but inevitable—just the same savagery that’s constantly happening in an unenlightened part world. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 2 Mar. 2022 This gives the emotions of their scenes more complexity, and though Freyer can’t do much else with her troubled character, Klasko is at times heartbreaking in his portrait of conflicted and hopelessly unenlightened love. Jesse Green, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2023

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

1650, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unenlightened was in 1650

Dictionary Entries Near unenlightened

Cite this Entry

“Unenlightened.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unenlightened. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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