unlike

adjective
un·​like | \ ˌən-ˈlīk How to pronounce unlike (audio) \

Definition of unlike

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not like: such as
a : marked by lack of resemblance : different the two books are quite unlike
b : marked by inequality : unequal contributed unlike amounts

unlike

preposition

Definition of unlike (Entry 2 of 3)

: not like: such as
a : different from a landscape unlike any other
b : not characteristic of it was unlike him to be late
c : in a different manner from spoke clearly, unlike the others

unlike

conjunction

Definition of unlike (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a manner that is different than : not as

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Other Words from unlike

Adjective

unlikeness noun

Can unlike be used as a conjunction?: Usage Guide

Conjunction

The use of unlike as a conjunction is less common than conjunctive use of like and, while criticized, is not as frequently cited as an error. The conjunctive unlike almost always introduces a prepositional phrase. unlike in other areas, the judiciary cannot justify its attempt … as a necessary evil — Alexandra M. Walsh, Stanford Law Rev. In spite of criticism, this conjunctive use of unlike is well established in both American and British English.

Examples of unlike in a Sentence

Adjective a comparison of unlike things you're trying to compare very unlike things—like those proverbial apples and oranges Preposition The plants that grow here are unlike the plants that grow where I live. She's unlike anyone I've ever met.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The experience itself is heightened: unlike during a traditional couch session, there is no chance to look away, and no place to hide—for either therapist or patient—when participating in analysis via Zoom. The New Yorker, "Sunday Reading: The Psychological Realm," 4 Apr. 2021 Some said that Mario Filho was more worthy of the honor, while others argued that any new honoree should be from Rio - unlike Pele, who was born in Minas Gerais state and lived most of his life in the state of Sao Paulo. Reuters, CNN, "Rio votes to put Pele's name on famous Maracana stadium," 10 Mar. 2021 Atoms with the same charges repel one another and atoms with unlike charges are attracted to one another. Exploratorium, Scientific American, "Dance with Your Sweater," 19 Feb. 2015 For the first time, all education and child care staff were eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, and — unlike in other cities — Milwaukee health workers had a supply for them. Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin teachers receiving vaccines on first day of eligibility feel relief, but others may have weeks to wait," 2 Mar. 2021 But noise does not persist in the marine environment—unlike, for example, harmful chemicals and microplastics. Joseph Polidoro, Scientific American, "A Few Fixes Could Cut Noise Pollution That Hurts Ocean Animals," 23 Feb. 2021 This is unlike, say, a car loan, which allows borrowers the time to think rationally about taking it on. Mckenna Moore, Fortune, "Biden wants to change how credit scores work in America," 18 Dec. 2020 The plot changes as time moves along, and time—unlike in real life—always moves along. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Year of Ambitious TV Watching," 17 Dec. 2020 Americans are sorting themselves into social silos, seldom interacting with unlike-minded others, leading to less moderation and more radicalization. Kevin Vallier, WSJ, "Why Are Americans So Distrustful of Each Other?," 17 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition The reaction is a blow to global efforts to eradicate the virus as the J&J vaccine is effective with a single dose and does not need to be stored at very cold temperatures, unlike vaccines developed with mRNA technology. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Trump blasts federal regulators for urging pause in use of Johnson and Johnson vaccines," 13 Apr. 2021 But unlike many of the steps taken by Biden since taking office and deploying presidential authority to a pandemic of which Trump had long tired, there is no medical consensus on his decision on Michigan. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Michigan vaccine rebuff puts Biden and a top ally in a dicey political spot," 13 Apr. 2021 The genius of Hill was her ability to merge the genres unlike anyone else. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "200 greatest hip-hop songs of all time," 13 Apr. 2021 The AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson versions, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, rely on an adenovirus to stimulate an immune reaction and protect against COVID-19. Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times, "U.S. urges pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine over ‘extremely rare’ blood clotting," 13 Apr. 2021 United doesn’t currently give passengers guidance on how much to pay, unlike the carbon offset program, which comes with a calculator that makes recommendations based on the length of a flight. Lauren Zumbach, chicagotribune.com, "Got ‘flight shame’? United gives passengers the option to buy sustainable jet fuel to help air travel go green," 13 Apr. 2021 But unlike lots of memes, this one didn’t start as a neutral joke about a famous movie. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "The Alt-Right Has Lost Control of Redpill," 13 Apr. 2021 Biden's rescue program passed without Republican support, unlike the previous packages passed during the Trump administration, which were backed by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers. Martin Crutsinger, Star Tribune, "US budget deficit jumps to record $1.7 trillion this year," 12 Apr. 2021 Biden's rescue program passed without Republican support, unlike the previous packages passed during the Trump administration, which were backed by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers. Martin Crutsinger, ajc, "US budget deficit jumps to record $1.7 trillion this year," 12 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unlike.' 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 unlike

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Preposition

1600, in the meaning defined above

Conjunction

1873, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unlike

Time Traveler

The first known use of unlike was in the 13th century

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Statistics for unlike

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unlike.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlike. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for unlike

unlike

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of unlike

 (Entry 1 of 2)

somewhat formal : not similar

unlike

preposition

English Language Learners Definition of unlike (Entry 2 of 2)

: different from (something or someone)
: not typical of (someone) : not normal for (someone)
used to indicate how someone or something is different from other people or things

unlike

preposition
un·​like | \ ˌən-ˈlīk How to pronounce unlike (audio) \

Kids Definition of unlike

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : different from You are unlike the rest.
2 : unusual for It's unlike them to be so late.
3 : differently from I behave unlike the others.

unlike

adjective

Kids Definition of unlike (Entry 2 of 2)

: different sense 1, unequal You can't compare such unlike things.

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Comments on unlike

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