1

unless

conjunction un·less \ ən-ˈles , ˈən-ˌles \
|Updated on: 11 Jul 2018

Definition of unless

1 : except on the condition that : under any other circumstance than
2 : without the accompanying circumstance or condition that : but that : but

Origin and Etymology of unless

Middle English unlesse, alteration of onlesse, from on + lesse less


2

unless

preposition

Definition of unless

: except possibly : except

Recent Examples of unless from the Web

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

First Known Use of unless

circa 1532

in the meaning defined above

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UNLESS Defined for English Language Learners

unless

Definition of unless for English Language Learners

  • —used to say what will happen, be done, or be true if something else does not happen, is not done, or is not true


UNLESS Defined for Kids

unless

conjunction un·less \ ən-ˈles \

Definition of unless for Students

: except on the condition that
  • You can't have dessert unless you finish your dinner.


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