un·​eth·​i·​cal | \ ˌən-ˈe-thi-kəl How to pronounce unethical (audio) \

Definition of unethical

: not conforming to a high moral standard : morally wrong : not ethical illegal and unethical business practices immoral and unethical behavior

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Other Words from unethical

unethically \ ˌən-​ˈe-​thi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce unethical (audio) \ adverb

Examples of unethical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web They also have been shown in polls to place less trust in vaccines because of those disparities, as well as unethical medical experiments on Black people. Washington Post, "Major U.S. companies are lobbying in a scrum for early vaccine," 19 Dec. 2020 In retrospect, was anything about those relationships inappropriate or unethical? USA TODAY, "Debate transcript: Trump, Biden final presidential debate moderated by Kristen Welker," 23 Oct. 2020 Cooke’s dual roles were inappropriate and unethical. Jeff Forward, Chron, "Shared treasurer between PAC, Woodlands candidate draws criticism," 21 Oct. 2020 Instead, they've been met with widespread skepticism from people who point to the United States' history of unethical medical experiments on Black people. Dakin Andone, CNN, "Two HBCU presidents join Covid-19 vaccine trials, but it will take a lot for Black communities to overcome mistrust of medical experiments," 18 Sep. 2020 In 1796, Jenner performed highly unethical experiments on an eight-year-old boy, James Phipps, after realizing that milkmaids who had suffered from cowpox, a milder relative of smallpox, were seemingly immune to smallpox. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Civil War-Era Vaccination Kits Yield New Clues About History of Smallpox Vaccine," 31 July 2020 But a history of discrimination and unethical experimentation has made some people who belong to racial or ethnic minorities reluctant to participate in clinical trials. New York Times, "After a Rocky Start, Novavax Vaccine Could Be Here by Summer," 3 Feb. 2021 In late December, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo implemented a policy to revoke licenses and fine healthcare providers up to $1 million for unethical or fraudulent vaccine distribution. Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, "Gov. Jay Inslee calls out Washington hospital after it was accused of giving vaccine preference to high-paying donors," 27 Jan. 2021 The report, conducted by attorney Brenda K. Baumgart of Stoel Rivers LLP at the request of Brown's office, found Isaak committed no unethical behavior based on interviews with the governor's staff and several state officials. Tim Gruver, Washington Examiner, "Investigation claims Oregon governor’s chief counsel did no wrong in public records debacle," 28 Dec. 2020

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

1871, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unethical

Time Traveler

The first known use of unethical was in 1871

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Statistics for unethical

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unethical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unethical. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of unethical

: morally bad : not ethical

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