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 only reason the world started to find out what was happening at Chernobyl was that windborne nuclear fallout, unlike information, cannot be bottled up. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Chernobyl: Devastating Indictment of Socialism, Not Trumpism," 5 June 2019 So unlike sugar or starch, for instance, fiber is not actually a great source of fuel for the body. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What’s the Difference Between Soluble and Insoluble Fiber?," 15 May 2019 Look up and discover helictites, which look like suspended coral, and anthodites, which are not unlike stone sea urchins. Nicole Clausing, Sunset, "Spelunking the West: 10 Great Scenic Caves to Explore," 22 Jan. 2018 Many consumer advocates argued that once the rules were scrapped, broadband providers would begin selling the internet in bundles, not unlike cable television packages. Keith Collins, BostonGlobe.com, "The repeal of net neutrality is official. Here’s how that could affect you," 11 June 2018 The Tod’s honcho is not unlike Moncler’s Remo Ruffini in his thinking. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Tod’s Makes Alessandro Dell’Acqua Its First Tod’s Factory Collaborator," 25 Sep. 2018 But not unlike Facebook, the company is able to provide targeted mailing thanks to a proprietary system that organizes addresses into categories, such as moms, people who’ve just moved, or residents of high income areas. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Why so many hip startups advertise with snail mail," 1 Nov. 2018 Though most of its dialogue is in English, and its lead cast is predominately English-speaking, its locations are all Asian — not wholly unlike Skyscraper, as well as the Pacific Rim movies. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Jason Statham and a colossal shark can’t save The Meg from a lifeless existence," 9 Aug. 2018 Such criticism ignores the sacred responsibility of the president to hold his subordinates accountable — a function not unlike public congressional oversight hearings. New York Times, "Mueller Hopes Obstruction Inquiry Into Trump May Wrap Up by Sept. 1, Giuliani Says," 20 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Yet, the crowds that gathered over the past week had no obvious leader, unlike the Umbrella Movement in 2014, when Wong took the stage nightly during a 79-day sit-in around central Hong Kong. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "Prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong released from jail," 17 June 2019 But unlike Mother's Day, which received official recognition by the government in 1914, dads wouldn't have their official day for more than half a century. CBS News, "World's best dads," 16 June 2019 And unlike other sports where teams can compete in the county over, power soccer teams have to travel across state lines to participate. Robert General, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana power soccer team gives kids with disabilities chance to play sports," 15 June 2019 That means that, unlike the ash borer, any bug that would attack a native tree species would already have predators attacking it, so the infestation would be more contained. Mary Mcintyre, Lake County News-Sun, "After beetle wiped out 20% of parkway trees in Winthrop Harbor, federal grant will help restock the village," 14 June 2019 In mediation, unlike arbitration, all parties must agree to a solution. Zach Despart, Houston Chronicle, "Appeals court orders Houston firefighters, city back to mediation," 13 June 2019 Since then, crews conduct a nearly daily scene change unlike anything the center has seen, even during its Broadway shows and performances. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "One year after the fire, Kentucky Center is still picking up the pieces," 12 June 2019 But the arrangement — unlike tax deals the city has approved in recent years — did not carve out a way for the mall’s owners to pay a full tax bill. Dan Mcgowan, BostonGlobe.com, "Providence Place: With 150 stores, it’s trying to figure out what’s next in a rocky retail climate," 11 June 2019 Researchers have uncovered the 70-million-year-old fossilized remains of a massive elasmosaur from the icy depths of Antarctica unlike anything ever seen before. Fox News, "Fossil of ‘real-life Loch Ness Monster’ found in Antarctica was the biggest sea dinosaur ever," 11 June 2019

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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Statistics for unlike

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unlike

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on unlike

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unlike

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unlike

Spanish Central: Translation of unlike

Nglish: Translation of unlike for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unlike for Arabic Speakers

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