un·​manned | \ ˌən-ˈmand How to pronounce unmanned (audio) \

Definition of unmanned

1 see usage paragraph below : not carrying, staffed, or performed by people : not manned an unmanned railroad crossing unmanned spaceflight
2 of a hawk : not trained

Usage of Manned and Unmanned

While manned and unmanned are still commonly used in news sources to describe spaceflights, NASA has since the early 21st century used and prescribed non-gender-specific terms, preferring such descriptors as human, piloted, and crewed for the former, and unpiloted and uncrewed for the latter.

Examples of unmanned in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 2020, the test site launched Vantis, the first-of-its-kind statewide beyond visual line of sight unmanned traffic management network to enable advanced drone and air taxi operations across the state. Dawn Zoldi, Forbes, 1 Nov. 2021 In late January 2020, in an orbital belt around 640 kilometers above Earth, two unmanned Russian spacecrafts coasted through the sky toward USA-245, an American reconnaissance satellite. Rachel Riederer, Harper's Magazine, 26 Oct. 2021 Remarkably, Xpeng already has numerous competitors in the unmanned aerial travel space, including both startups and legacy airlines. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 25 Oct. 2021 Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar visited the Texas border over the weekend — concerned that checkpoints meant for stopping drug and human traffickers were unmanned as authorities responded to a surge of Haitian immigrants. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, 21 Sep. 2021 The admission and apology were stunning, especially as the unmanned drone strike was among the last US military actions with troops still on the ground in Afghanistan, bringing a 20-year military presence in the country to a painful end. Daniel Rothenberg, CNN, 19 Sep. 2021 The massive breach in U.S. security helped drive technological innovation within the U.S. intelligence community, with the unmanned aerial drone being the most impressive (how those drones are used is another subject entirely). Daniel Depetris, National Review, 11 Sep. 2021 The two unmanned units together house about 80 prisoners. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2021 Gatik partnered with the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone, a 27,000-acre development in North Texas that’s home to companies dedicated to the use of autonomous delivery and unmanned aerial system technologies. Dallas News, 31 Aug. 2021

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

1544, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of unmanned was in 1544

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unmanned.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unmanned. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of unmanned

: not carrying or done by a person

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