unless

conjunction
un·​less | \ ən-ˈles, ˈən-ˌles\

Definition of unless

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

unless

preposition

Definition of unless (Entry 2 of 2)

: except possibly : except

Examples of unless in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

While there are benefits for some specific cases, many of us will experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation as a result. Plus, unless they’re prescribed to you by a physician, dietary supplements come with their own safety gamble. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "9 Keto Diet Dangers Nutritionists Want You to Know About," 2 Jan. 2019 Let’s retire Plexiglass as a décor material unless there is truly a good reason to use it for its own properties. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "37 Wedding Trend Mistakes to Avoid in 2019: Succulents, Family-Style Meals, and More," 31 Dec. 2018 Note: All of the deals below start on November 22 unless otherwise noted. Emily Heller, Curbed, "Black Friday 2018: Best home tech deals to watch for," 24 Nov. 2018 Indictments only represent one side in a criminal case and the defendants are presumed innocent unless convicted. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky coal mine officials charged with cheating on key safety tests," 11 July 2018 No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Michael Flynn’s judge suggested he might be guilty of treason. He’s not.," 18 Dec. 2018 Most wasps and hornets are generally uninterested in you and not particularly aggressive unless disturbed, and all of them will die come a hard frost or two in the fall; only the queen overwinters to start a brand new nest in the spring. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "How to Wasp-Proof Your Backyard This Summer," 26 July 2018 Don’t get in an ambulance unless your health depends on it. Sarah Gantz, Philly.com, "In an emergency, what will you pay for an ambulance ride?," 5 July 2018 For the most part, everything that people are typically taught about Thanksgiving is wrong — unless craft hour is skipped over and they're taught that Thanksgiving is a holiday with roots in the mass killings of millions of Indigenous peoples. Maka Monture, Teen Vogue, "10 Films That Show How the U.S. Has Mistreated Native Americans and Alaska Natives," 22 Nov. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of unless

Conjunction

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Preposition

circa 1532, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for unless

Conjunction

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

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Dictionary Entries near unless

unled

unlegal

unleisured

unless

unlessened

unlessoned

unlet

Statistics for unless

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Time Traveler for unless

The first known use of unless was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for unless

unless

conjunction

English Language Learners Definition of unless

—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

conjunction
un·​less | \ ən-ˈles \

Kids Definition of unless

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on unless

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unless

Spanish Central: Translation of unless

Nglish: Translation of unless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unless for Arabic Speakers

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