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



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



Definition of unlike (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a manner that is different than : not as

Other Words from unlike


unlikeness noun

Can unlike be used as a conjunction?: Usage Guide


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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Why is the city’s skyline far from the beach — unlike in Miami, Seattle and elsewhere? Los Angeles Times, 26 Jan. 2022 Still, the important word was counterpart — Pompeo is not deluding himself that our enemy is our friend — unlike, say, the Biden State Department negotiators currently cajoling Iran’s mullahs in hopes of reprising Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 27 Feb. 2022 But this is a debate worth having — unlike with most bills in Sacramento. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 10 Jan. 2022 While the introduction of the new program will be attractive to loyal GM buyers, there are plenty of offers on the market now — unlike at the start of the pandemic two years ago. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 10 Jan. 2022 Even the Times Square Ball Drop is back, and—unlike in years past, when locals would stay as far away from that logistical mess as possible—this year people are seeing it as a sign of hope. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 17 Dec. 2021 But Bay Area drivers will likely not encounter much fog — unlike earlier this month, when a thick cloud of fog covered parts of the region. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Nov. 2021 Road transport accounts for 17% of global emissions, and—unlike in other sectors—these emissions are rising. Carlton Reid, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021 These are profoundly native — unlike, say, the Salton Sea. Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Coconut oil and panthenol (a B vitamin) also nourish the scalp, and unlike most other ingredients, can penetrate inside the hair shaft, hydrating from within to enhance pliability, and keeping the cuticle tight and intact. Jolene Edgar, Allure, 24 June 2022 Part of the reason for this was that in Cook Inlet, unlike elsewhere, the closure only applied to the commercial salmon fishery, not to the recreational one. Elizabeth Earl For Alaska Journal Of Commerce, Anchorage Daily News, 24 June 2022 And even though most take a few sessions to work, there will unlikely be any downtime, unlike traditional lipo, which can be a beast to recover from. April Long, Town & Country, 24 June 2022 As a private nonprofit organization, Welcome Home requires no proof of need from clients, unlike many governmental agencies. Karen Campbell, BostonGlobe.com, 24 June 2022 As the guardian recovers from Luther’s attack, the others go to stand on each star, and a current of energy (not entirely unlike Viktor’s white-violin power) immediately courses between them. Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 23 June 2022 Garvey said it’s also important to recognize that the district’s schools are within a mile of local police departments, unlike many rural school districts in Ohio that don’t have that benefit. cleveland, 23 June 2022 The show is unlike most other reality competition series in that — spoiler alert — none of the contestants are dismissively degraded or dispatched. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 June 2022 Sunrooms are rooms with many windows, though unlike solariums, they are not made entirely of glass. Sophie Flaxman, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of unlike


13th century, in the meaning defined above


1600, in the meaning defined above


1873, in the meaning defined above

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

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Cite this Entry

“Unlike.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlike. Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for unlike


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.



Kids Definition of unlike (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on unlike

Nglish: Translation of unlike for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unlike for Arabic Speakers


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