un·​in·​ten·​tion·​al | \ ˌən-in-ˈtench-nəl How to pronounce unintentional (audio) , -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

Arpaio’s attorneys argued the violations were unintentional and that Arpaio delegated the court’s order to subordinates. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "Joe Arpaio 2020 billboards pop up, but is he actually running?," 14 July 2019 The researchers said ballot-level data allowed them to use votes cast in different races on the same ballot to figure out whether non-votes, called undervotes, in various races were intentional or unintentional. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, "Bad ballot design in Broward County cost Bill Nelson 9,658 votes in ultra-tight loss to Rick Scott," 12 July 2019 Elder abuse involves intentional or unintentional acts that result in physical, emotional or financial harm to an individual who is 65 years or older. Linda R. Phillips, The Conversation, "Elder abuse increasing, without increased awareness," 14 June 2019 In the latter state, preliminary data show unintentional intoxication deaths rose 6% to 2,420 in 2018. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Overdose Deaths Likely to Fall for First Time Since 1990," 26 June 2019 And 80% of unintentional firearm deaths of kids under the age of 15 occur in homes. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "On June 21, you should ask parents of your kids' friends if they have guns in their house. Here's how.," 20 June 2019 Free membership comes with the lessons. Drowning ranks second behind vehicle accidents as the leading cause of unintentional death of all children ages 1-14, according to the CDC. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "The fatal drowning rate for black kids is stark. History is part of that.," 13 June 2019 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the country. Mike Glenn, Houston Chronicle, "Typhoon Texas takes part in worldwide swimming lesson," 10 June 2019 Drownings are the leading cause of unintentional deaths of children ages 1 to 4. Dana Jacobson, CBS News, "Death of Granger Smith's son puts spotlight on drownings," 7 June 2019

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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Statistics for unintentional

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unintentional

The first known use of unintentional was in 1782

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More Definitions for unintentional



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

Comments on unintentional

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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