un·​for·​giv·​ing | \ ˌən-fər-ˈgi-viŋ How to pronounce unforgiving (audio) \

Definition of unforgiving

1 : unwilling or unable to forgive
2 : having or making no allowance for error or weakness an unforgiving environment where false moves can prove fatal— Jaclyn Fierman

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Other Words from unforgiving

unforgivingness noun

Examples of unforgiving in a Sentence

They are unforgiving of the smallest mistake. the unforgiving world of politics

Recent Examples on the Web

Itineraries were delivered months in advance in red leather dossiers, and the schedule, as Deeda Blair recalls, was unforgiving, with time slots for swimming precisely indicated. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Remembers Jayne Wrightsman, Esteemed Arts Connoisseur and Legendary Hostess," 24 Apr. 2019 The unforgiving denunciation of non-compliant politicians, led some to accuse the campaign of blackmail and has won them many truculent enemies in parliament. Andrew Connelly, Newsweek, "The Czech Minister, the Mistress and the Gold Bars," 20 Mar. 2015 Global competition and unforgiving maritime economics have painted the business into a corner, however, and there’s little demand for the expensive cargo vessels that can be built at the shipyard. Paul Page, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Amazon China Powers Down; Balance in Warehousing; Shipbuilding on Idle," 18 Apr. 2019 Moreover, the agency, with 360,000 employees, has proven one of the government’s most unforgiving bureaucracies to run. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "‘He knows he is done’: Veterans Affairs chief lays low amid rumors he’ll be ousted," 27 Mar. 2018 Set to the same art style from that era, Cuphead is a run-and-gun game that’s unforgiving. Tom Warren, The Verge, "The 10 best games for your new Xbox One," 26 Dec. 2018 The working theory was that the men, who apparently fled on an improvised raft, drowned in the bay's unforgiving waters. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Escape from Alcatraz: Letter claiming inmates survived 'inconclusive'," 25 Jan. 2018 And today’s videogame market is rather unforgiving to big, expensive properties that can’t maintain a strong continuing stream of service revenues. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Activision’s Date With Destiny," 11 Jan. 2019 The fabric is stiff, thick, and relatively unforgiving. Tara Gonzalez, Glamour, "The Perfect Fall Jacket is $655—so I found 11 Under $150 Instead," 26 Oct. 2018

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

1713, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for unforgiving

Last Updated

29 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unforgiving

The first known use of unforgiving was in 1713

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More Definitions for unforgiving



English Language Learners Definition of unforgiving

: not willing to forgive other people
: very harsh or difficult : not allowing weakness, error, etc.

Comments on unforgiving

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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