un·​en·​light·​ened | \ ˌən-in-ˈlī-tᵊnd How to pronounce unenlightened (audio) , -en-\

Definition of unenlightened

: 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

Brodie has been assailed for his unenlightened attitudes about women. Janet Maslin, New York Times, "A Literary Detective Returns to Find Trouble in the Country Club Set," 17 June 2019 Many contend that its characterizations and storytelling are quaintly sentimental, factually suspect and—worst of all—unenlightened. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "What’s Wrong With ‘Green Book’?," 27 Dec. 2018 Only knuckleheads—and the obstinately unenlightened—write off Buffalo, N.Y., as nothing more than a winter icebox and the birthplace of a certain sports-bar delicacy. Jennifer Fernandez, WSJ, "Escape to Buffalo: A Skeptic’s Guide to a Great Weekend Getaway," 6 Sep. 2018 There is a different pathos to characters who die mad and unenlightened. New York Times, "They’ve Come Undone: Giselle, Lucia and Romantic Madness," 10 May 2018 But while the unenlightened are still debating whether women over 50 should be allowed to wear miniskirts, nothing short of a fashion revolution has been taking place on the red carpet. Harper's BAZAAR, "Candace Bushnell Opens Up About Style And The Dated Concept of "Dressing Your Age"," 30 Apr. 2018 At the same time, a hairy Marxist academic who's been hanging around the factory tries to persuade the workers to collectivize and run the place themselves, a notion that soon collides with their unenlightened self-interest. Chicago Reader, "More than 60 new features premiere locally at the European Union Film Festival," 7 Mar. 2018 Some facets of the map’s 1950s world view seem unenlightened today. National Geographic, "Vintage Map Shows Santa's Journey Around the World," 21 Dec. 2017 Carell plays Riggs more as an affable, unenlightened boob than a villainous creep. Stephanie Zacharek, SI.com, "'Battle of the Sexes' Serves Up a Winning Portrait of Billie Jean King," 22 Sep. 2017

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

1650, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unenlightened

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for unenlightened

The first known use of unenlightened was in 1650

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More Definitions for unenlightened



English Language Learners Definition of unenlightened

: not having or showing a good understanding of how people should be treated

Comments on unenlightened

What made you want to look up unenlightened? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to shake or wave menacingly

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