un·in·ten·tion·al | \ ˌən-in-ˈtench-nəl , -ˈten(t)-shə-nᵊl \

Definition of unintentional 

: not done by intention or design : not intentional an unintentional effect causing unintentional harm/offense

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Other words from unintentional

unintentionally adverb
an unintentionally offensive remark

Examples of unintentional in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

What is a 'dry drowning?' Drowning ranks as the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kimberly Rapanut, azcentral, "Here's what you need to know about dry drowning," 21 June 2018 Carbon monoxide is responsible for more than 400 unintentional deaths annually in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford Explorer drivers complain of dizziness, nausea, vomiting," 23 Jan. 2018 Most pay gaps are unintentional, said Jee-Yeon Lehmann, a vice president at the Boston economic consulting firm Analysis Group, which partners with law firms to conduct statistical analyses of compensation data. Katie Johnston, BostonGlobe.com, "As gender pay law kicks in, companies scrutinize wages," 30 June 2018 In fact, Thomas’ absence left room for a striking (if unintentional) feminist statement from Meghan, who ended up walking down most of the aisle herself before being handed off to Prince Harry by his father, Prince Charles. refinery29.com, "Meghan Markle's Dad Wasn't At The Royal Wedding, But He's Got Some Thoughts," 19 May 2018 Eventually, Costas' greatest unintentional impact on the World Series coverage came a few days later in Oakland before Game 4. Tom Hoffarth, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Only in Hollywood': How MLB Network Captures the Drama (and Humor) of the '88 Dodgers," 13 July 2018 Despite the unintentional win, Ocasio-Cortez is unable to accept the nomination in a second district. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "New Democratic Superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Just Won Another Primary—In a District She Didn't Even Run In," 11 July 2018 The new numbers mean that in 2015, Michigan's death rate from unintentional opioid overdose was the 13th highest in the nation, with 14.13 deaths per 100,000 people. Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan undercounted opioid overdose deaths in 2015, study suggests," 28 June 2018 Of the more than 438,600 unintentional overdose deaths included in the new study’s analysis, roughly 255,500 were coded as opioid-related, approximately 85,600 were coded as non-opioid-related and about 97,100 were coded as unspecified. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Researchers May Have Underestimated the Number of Opioid Overdose Deaths," 27 June 2018

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

1782, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for unintentional

The first known use of unintentional was in 1782

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More Definitions for unintentional


un·in·ten·tion·al | \ ˌən-in-ˈten-shə-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of unintentional

: not done on purpose : not intentional an unintentional error

Other words from unintentional

unintentionally adverb Her remarks unintentionally hurt my feelings.

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Comments on unintentional

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to make amends

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