unlike

1 of 3

adjective

un·​like ˌən-ˈlīk How to pronounce unlike (audio)
: 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
unlikeness noun

unlike

2 of 3

preposition

: 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

3 of 3

conjunction

: in a manner that is different than : not as
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
Not consistently making vaccine counseling reimbursable, unlike, say, nutritional counseling, disincentivizes health care providers to spend the time needed. Saad B. Omer, The Mercury News, 27 Mar. 2024 So basically like, unlike, like and then unlike Ulysses-ha. Evan Minsker, Pitchfork, 17 Nov. 2023 See all Example Sentences for unlike 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unlike.' 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

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Preposition

1600, in the meaning defined above

Conjunction

1873, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near unlike

Cite this Entry

“Unlike.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlike. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

unlike

1 of 2 adjective
un·​like ˌən-ˈlīk How to pronounce unlike (audio)
ˈən-
1
: marked by differences
people are all unlike
2
: unequal sense 1a
contributed unlike amounts
unlikeness noun

unlike

2 of 2 preposition
1
: different from
feeling completely unlike a hero
2
: not typical of
it was unlike her to be late
3
: in a different manner from
behaving unlike all the other children

More from Merriam-Webster on unlike

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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