unlike

adjective
un·like | \ˌən-ˈlīk \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 And not unlike Discover’s own program, retailing giant Walmart announced in late May plans to offer subsidized college tuition for its workers, both online and in-person, at the University of Florida, Brandman University, and Bellevue University. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Discover to Offer Full-Ride Online Bachelor's Degrees," 12 June 2018 Xhaka is currently at the World Cup with his national team - unlike Bellerin, who was passed over for Dani Carvajal and Álvaro Odriozola, with Nacho and Cesar Azpilicueta preferred by Julen Lopetegui as versatile backup options. SI.com, "Hector Bellerin Named as One of Unai Emery's 5 'Untouchables' at Arsenal as New Regime Takes Shape," 19 June 2018 In Canada, a flaky tart shell holds a dense, sweet sugar custard not unlike pecan pie filling. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Butter Tarts Clear Customs," 29 May 2018 Because unlike students being murdered in their American classrooms, a Royal Wedding is a rare event. Nicole Hockley, Time, "My Youngest Son Was Murdered at Sandy Hook. I Worry About the One Who Survived," 21 May 2018 But as scary as news of a failure in your bank's online security system can be, there's something even more terrifying about human failures; unlike network breaches, these strike at our primal need to trust. Daniel Mendelsohn, Town & Country, "How Notorious White-Collar Criminals Use Their Friends and Social Connections," 4 Nov. 2016 That's not unlike Trump going after former Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, who resigned his seat after allegations of unwanted and forcible kissing by multiple women. Z. Byron Wolf, CNN, "Hubris, hypocrisy and (former) NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman," 8 May 2018 And beams of light, unlike wires, are hazardous to human eyeballs, which means that these bots are not going to be free to play Johnny Appleseed any time soon. Ellen Airhart, WIRED, "This Insect-Sized Flying Robot Is Powered by Lasers," 15 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Except unlike Laura Dern, who kind of faded from Hollywood for several years before reappearing in 2011's highly underrated HBO series Enlightened, Russell never really went anywhere. refinery29.com, "This Is Keri Russell's Time To Shine — Welcome To The Russell-ution, Comrades," 13 July 2018 But unlike marathon runners who fuel up on carbs before a run, sailors have different endurance strategies. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "How 5 Port Huron-to-Mackinac racers feed sailboat crews," 13 July 2018 The British supported the Americans during the Spanish-American War in 1898, and the U.S. government — unlike most European nations — supported the British in the second Boer War (1899-1902). Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "The 'Special Relationship' Between the U.S. and U.K. Is Unlike Any Other Alliance. Here's How It Got That Way," 13 July 2018 Cunningham’s, unlike Cafe Antoine, is on the main drag and easily spotted from York Road. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Anne Tyler's latest novel evokes Hamilton. Here are possible real-life stand-ins for locations in 'Clock Dance'," 13 July 2018 But unlike most films of that genre, Mary Page Marlowe is concerned with finding the pathos, the melancholy beauty in a life that in most respects is unremarkable. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mary Page Marlowe': Theater Review," 13 July 2018 Another possibility is a bundle of digital services that span TV shows and cloud storage, not unlike Amazon Prime. Daniel Arkin /, NBC News, "Apple's script for conquering Hollywood is a mystery so far," 13 July 2018 But unlike marijuana, hemp is particularly cultivated to have low levels of THC. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Six things you might be asking about hemp," 13 July 2018 To his credit, Trump — unlike some recent predecessors — has acted early enough in his term to let voters weigh in on his extrajudicial judgment in the midterm election. Mark Z. Barabak, latimes.com, "Stymied elsewhere, Trump turns to pardons to advance personal and policy goals," 12 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unlike

Phrases Related to unlike

not unlike

Statistics for unlike

Last Updated

25 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unlike

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unlike

unlike

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of unlike

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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 \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on unlike

What made you want to look up unlike? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!