ungovernable

adjective un·gov·ern·able \ ˌən-ˈgə-vər-nə-bəl \
Updated on: 21 May 2018

Definition of ungovernable

: not capable of being governed, guided, or restrained

Examples of ungovernable in a Sentence

  1. The people there seemed almost ungovernable.

  2. a handful of ungovernable students are disrupting the learning environment for everyone else

Recent Examples of ungovernable from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ungovernable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ungovernable

1673

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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Synonym Discussion of ungovernable

unruly, ungovernable, intractable, refractory, recalcitrant, willful, headstrong mean not submissive to government or control. unruly implies lack of discipline or incapacity for discipline and often connotes waywardness or turbulence of behavior.
    • unruly children
ungovernable implies either an escape from control or guidance or a state of being unsubdued and incapable of controlling oneself or being controlled by others.
    • ungovernable rage
intractable suggests stubborn resistance to guidance or control.
    • intractable opponents of the hazardous-waste dump
refractory stresses resistance to attempts to manage or to mold.
    • special schools for refractory children
recalcitrant suggests determined resistance to or defiance of authority.
    • acts of sabotage by a recalcitrant populace
willful implies an obstinate determination to have one's own way.
    • a willful disregard for the rights of others
headstrong suggests self-will impatient of restraint, advice, or suggestion.
    • a headstrong young cavalry officer

UNGOVERNABLE Defined for English Language Learners

ungovernable

Definition of ungovernable for English Language Learners

  • : impossible to govern

  • : impossible to control


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