1 of 2


un·​kind·​ly ˌən-ˈkīn(d)-lē How to pronounce unkindly (audio)
: not kindly
unkindliness noun


2 of 2


: in an unkind manner
dwells unkindly long on his final declineA. H. Johnston

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
So, any threats to Levesque’s new creative control would also likely be looked upon unkindly by talent. Siddhant Adlakha, Vulture, 11 Jan. 2023 Animated violence includes characters bullying and speaking unkindly to one another. Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2022 Stern looks unkindly on buyers who covet the investment rather than the brand. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 18 Oct. 2022 Music history tends to look unkindly on such messy, inconsistent figures, preferring those who put the brand of genius on works large and small. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 6 Oct. 2022 Approval ratings might drop as more people will look unkindly at some X-Men. Chris Smith, BGR, 24 Aug. 2022 At the readings, held in bars, there were internecine squabbles and dramas, and some of the poets treated Wong unkindly. Raffi Khatchadourian, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 Don’t waste your practice (or time, or life) on someone unkind, though — and please see how unkindly your partner treats you. Washington Post, 30 May 2021 The ops people get upset that the engineers are treating them unkindly and things spiral downward from there. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 17 Oct. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unkindly was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near unkindly

Cite this Entry

“Unkindly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unkindly. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


: unkind
unkindliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on unkindly

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?