un·​eth·​i·​cal | \ˌən-ˈe-thi-kəl \

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 \ adverb

Examples of unethical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Mr Pruitt was facing over a dozen federal investigations into allegations of unethical behaviour, and had run up a huge travel bill from flying first class. The Economist, "Politics this week," 12 July 2018 Such exploitation isn’t just unethical—it’s against the law. Lyndsay Winkley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Community comes together to drum up support for Alpine fire victims left homeless," 9 July 2018 The five-member ethics board considered Witenberg’s complaint of unethical behavior against 5th Ward Ald. Genevieve Bookwalter, chicagotribune.com, "New Evanston lead attorney is also part of Open Meetings Act violation probe by attorney general," 27 June 2018 In experiments, subjects were shown faces hundreds of times and asked to judge whether each was threatening; similarly, subjects were shown research proposals and asked to judge whether each was unethical. Kevin Lewis, BostonGlobe.com, "Looking for negative signals," 6 July 2018 In the book, Comey likens Trump to a mafia boss, and calls him ‘‘unethical and untethered to truth.’’ Comey was fired by Trump in May 2017. BostonGlobe.com, "James Comey is in Boston to promote his new book," 29 Apr. 2018 In addition, the White House Counsel's Office is examining allegations of unethical behavior, among them Pruitt's decision to rent part of a Capitol Hill condo for $50 a night from the lobbyist and her husband, who had business before the agency. Author: Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis, Anchorage Daily News, "EPA’s Pruitt admits role in aide’s pay raise but calls attacks on him politically motivated," 27 Apr. 2018 National art museum groups have called it unethical to sell art and use the proceeds for anything other than the museum or its collection. Susan Snyder, Philly.com, "La Salle president defends plans to sell art," 11 Jan. 2018 The project follows an interlocked series of scandals around fake news, user privacy, and the tactics digital media companies use to retain user attention, which some critics have called unethical. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Facebook Is Developing a Time-Management Tool for Users," 23 June 2018

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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Statistics for unethical

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for unethical

The first known use of unethical was in 1871

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More from Merriam-Webster on unethical

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unethical

Spanish Central: Translation of unethical

Nglish: Translation of unethical for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unethical

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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