un·​li·​censed ˌən-ˈlī-sᵊn(t)st How to pronounce unlicensed (audio)
: not licensed: such as
: not authorized or permitted by a license
unlicensed merchandise
an unlicensed firearm
the unlicensed reproduction of books
: operating without a license
unlicensed vendors
an unlicensed electrician
unlicensed brokers
unlicensed drivers

Examples of unlicensed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In more recent years, a dozen young lemonade vendors in states ranging from New York to California made news when local authorities cracked down on their unlicensed driveway businesses. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Mar. 2024 Charges have been levied against chatbot makers for training their models on unlicensed material and shadow libraries. Laura Bratton, Quartz, 28 Mar. 2024 When legalization passed, there was a sort of cash grab, and landlords began renting to unlicensed sellers. Terence McGinley, New York Times, 26 Mar. 2024 That state has virtually unfettered, unlicensed concealed carrying of guns except on college campuses, which can make their own rules. Thomas Elias, The Mercury News, 16 Mar. 2024 Under a series of regulations approved by the City Council, unlicensed sellers could be arrested on misdemeanor charges. Priscella Vega, Los Angeles Times, 29 Jan. 2024 Allegations include reports of people in white vans targeting tribal members on Arizona reservations, in some cases kidnapping them, giving them drugs and alcohol, and holding them in unlicensed sober living facilities against their will, for financial gain. The Arizona Republic, 26 Jan. 2024 In Texas, a similar bill that’s now a law created controversy after the state’s legislature approved unlicensed chaplains to perform mental health roles. Rachel Fradette, The Indianapolis Star, 25 Jan. 2024 He has been charged with seven robberies, assault with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, assault on a police officer and carrying an unlicensed firearm. Spencer S. Hsu, Washington Post, 21 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unlicensed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1577, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unlicensed was in 1577

Dictionary Entries Near unlicensed

Cite this Entry

“Unlicensed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlicensed. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


variants or chiefly British unlicenced
: not licensed
especially, of a drug : not approved for use by the appropriate regulating authority (as the Food and Drug Administration in the United States)

More from Merriam-Webster on unlicensed

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