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

Throttling may have been unintentional Sprint's apparent throttling of Skype doesn't seem to make sense on the face of it, since it was detected on only about 34 percent of Wehe user devices, Choffnes said. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "How a phone app detected Sprint’s alleged throttling of Skype," 29 Nov. 2018 The panel did not issue a finding on whether the violations were intentional or unintentional. Skyler Swisher, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Ethics panel fines Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie for failing to disclose voting conflict," 17 Apr. 2018 The scandal of Soviet totalitarian practices had the unintentional short-term effect of postponing and even invalidating détente, leaving Communism to do its worst. David Pryce-jones, National Review, "Is Arab Democracy Possible?," 16 Jan. 2018 The Centers for Disease Control says in an factsheet on accidental drownings that, between 2005 and 2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Georgia bachelor party guest drowns after trying to hold his breath under water at lake, police say," 7 Aug. 2018 According to a study from the Transnational Family Research Institute, 49 percent of pregnancies in the United States are unintentional. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why A Pro-Life World Has A Lot of Dead Women In It," 19 June 2017 In 2017, there were 1,487 unintentional drug-overdose deaths in New York City, up 62 from a year earlier. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "New York City to Spend $8 Million Combatting Bronx Opioid Epidemic," 28 Nov. 2018 Everytown for Gun Safety tracks unintentional shootings by children in an interactive map on its website. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Two Parents Are Facing Charges After Their Son's Friend Accidentally Fatally Shot Himself With Their Gun," 13 Aug. 2018 And, sadly, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional deaths for children 1- to 4-years-old, according to the CDC. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Zach Roloff's New Instagram of Jackson Has 'Little People, Big World' Fans Worried Sick," 7 Aug. 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

1 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for unintentional

The first known use of unintentional was in 1782

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English Language Learners Definition of unintentional

: not done in a way that is planned or intended : not intentional


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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More from Merriam-Webster on unintentional

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unintentional

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unintentional

Spanish Central: Translation of unintentional

Nglish: Translation of unintentional for Spanish Speakers

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