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

Keep scrolling for more

Usage Discussion 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 Previously, Virgin Hyperloop has run about 400 unmanned tests of the system. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Humans Have Taken Their First Trip Inside a Hyperloop," 11 Nov. 2020 The unmanned delivery vehicles have since moved to another state, but Nuro cars with safety drivers still operate in the region. Ryan Randazzo, The Arizona Republic, "Some in Scottsdale will get deliveries from Walmart in autonomous Cruise vehicles," 10 Nov. 2020 In a separate project, Army researchers are working with the University of Illinois Chicago on unmanned technology for recharging drone swarms. Fox News, "Army teams with universities to create miniature drone device that detects aerosols," 18 Oct. 2020 Even worse, an unmanned aircraft system, aka drone, was used in Minneapolis on May 29. Samuel Woolley, Wired, "We Need to Know Who's Surveilling Protests—and Why," 3 Nov. 2020 The focus will be on cyberwarfare, information technology and unmanned vehicles, Blumenthal said. Stephen Singer, courant.com, "Connecticut, which has reaped billions of dollars in new military spending under Trump, could see leaner defense spending under Biden presidency," 27 Oct. 2020 The Nevada Donor Network partnered with MissionGo, a company that operates and innovates in the unmanned aircraft industry, to test the use of drones to deliver vital organs. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Nevada testing drones to deliver vital organs to transplant patients," 3 Oct. 2020 The board recommends 24-hour video surveillance for any unmanned drop box. Dan Petrella, chicagotribune.com, "Secure drop boxes, extra sorting machines and a decade of experience: Here’s why Illinois election officials say voting by mail is safe," 2 Oct. 2020 In April, 2018, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, achieved an altitude of about three hundred miles, and then released a large unmanned capsule, called Dragon, which propelled itself to the International Space Station. Raffi Khatchadourian, The New Yorker, "Read More," 21 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of unmanned

1544, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unmanned

Time Traveler for unmanned

Time Traveler

The first known use of unmanned was in 1544

See more words from the same year

Statistics for unmanned

Last Updated

19 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unmanned.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unmanned. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unmanned


How to pronounce unmanned (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unmanned

: not carrying or done by a person

More from Merriam-Webster on unmanned

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unmanned

Comments on unmanned

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


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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