un·​mer·​ci·​ful ˌən-ˈmər-si-fəl How to pronounce unmerciful (audio)
: not merciful : merciless
: excessive, extreme
chatted for an unmerciful length of time
unmercifully adverb

Examples of unmerciful in a Sentence

she went into an unmerciful level of detail about her latest health problems the critics were unmerciful in their assessments of the young actress's performance
Recent Examples on the Web In Nazi ideology, descent was destiny—inescapable, unmerciful, and total. Fintan O’Toole, The New York Review of Books, 20 July 2023 What hit viewers, then and now, with the strength of an unmerciful iceberg is how entirely uncynical this movie is. Chris Snellgrove, EW.com, 15 Dec. 2022 How have Willis and Kastor excelled for 20 years and more in that unmerciful context? Roger Robinson, Outside Online, 18 Feb. 2021 Trying to end an unmerciful beating, Astudillo haplessly threw three pitches to Mercedes that were all called balls (and that averaged about 45 mph). Scott Jennings, CNN, 20 May 2021 Reaction to the couple's decision was swift and unmerciful. Danielle Campoamor, refinery29.com, 7 May 2021 In his portrayals of inmates, victims, and legal advocates, a cautious theme emerges: the prospect of a democratic solution—born of popular will—to an unmerciful system of justice. The New Yorker, 15 Mar. 2021 Far more challenging: wine, women and all that jazz that can tempt Broncos into the unmerciful grip of a COVID-19 outbreak capable of bringing down the team’s playoff aspirations. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, 28 July 2020 The sun can be unmerciful, and the best way to protect yourself is to simply keep it off your skin. Outdoor Life, 26 May 2020 See More

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of unmerciful was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near unmerciful

Cite this Entry

“Unmerciful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unmerciful. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​mer·​ci·​ful ˌən-ˈmər-si-fəl How to pronounce unmerciful (audio)
: not merciful : merciless, cruel
unmercifully adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on unmerciful

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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