1

unless

play
conjunction un·less \ən-ˈles, ˈən-ˌ\

Definition of unless

  1. 1 :  except on the condition that :  under any other circumstance than

  2. 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


First Known Use: 14th century


2

unless

preposition un·less

Definition of unless

  1. :  except possibly :  except

Circa 1532

First Known Use of unless

circa 1532



UNLESS Defined for English Language Learners

1

unless

play
conjunction un·less \ən-ˈles, ˈən-ˌ\

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

play
conjunction un·less \ən-ˈles\

Definition of unless for Students

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


Learn More about unless


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or resembling a fox

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • alphabet-magnets
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ