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 Best thing on the Latinternet this week: COVID-19 can’t keep Nathan Apodaca down Earlier this week, Nathan Apodaca, one of the few bright spots of what’s been a truly awful and unforgiving year, announced that has COVID-19. Los Angeles Times, "Latinx Files: Why we need a Latino museum," 17 Dec. 2020 The Existential Dread of Just Getting By Pathologic is famous for its brutally unforgiving game mechanics. Eric Ravenscraft, Wired, "Pathologic Hits Different During a Real Pandemic," 17 Nov. 2020 But beneath all that bubbly surface, the rules of the game are ruthless and unforgiving. Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Mank’ is a gorgeous dive into film history — and a sharp reflection on our political present," 6 Nov. 2020 People intent on keeping the system harsh and unforgiving face those who want to shrink the system, give people second chances, and hold police accountable. Maya Moore, Vogue, "Why You Should Know Your District Attorney This November," 29 Oct. 2020 But qualifying for the postseason in the unforgiving Western Conference will be no easy task, especially for a team that figures to depend heavily on players who are 25 and younger. Christian Clark, NOLA.com, "With Stan Van Gundy, Pelicans feel they can win now and in the future," 27 Oct. 2020 California is notorious for strict truancy laws that some parents see as extreme or unforgiving. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "The father of a seventh-grader says his son was warned of possible arrest after missing three Zoom sessions," 22 Oct. 2020 But that success contributed to a very unforgiving 2020 schedule, one that opened with understandable losses to the Chiefs and Ravens and serves up the 2-0 Steelers in Week 3 and similarly desperate Vikings after that. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL's 0-2 teams: Who still has hope to turn season around and reach playoffs?," 23 Sep. 2020 The task for today’s architects is to re-engineer the kind of architectural durability and environmental sensitivity that past generations took for granted — all while nature itself grows more unforgiving. David Walter, Washington Post, "As floods, fires and extreme temperatures worsen, these designers are making the case for resilient building," 14 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for unforgiving

Time Traveler

The first known use of unforgiving was in 1713

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Statistics for unforgiving

Last Updated

28 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unforgiving.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unforgiving. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for unforgiving


How to pronounce unforgiving (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unforgiving

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

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