un·​of·​fi·​cial ˌən-ə-ˈfi-shəl How to pronounce unofficial (audio)
 also  -ō-
: not authorized or acknowledged by a government, group, class, or society : not official
unofficial results
an unofficial policy
unofficially adverb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The coming together of political opposites in Berlin under the banner of peace had been percolating for months, though the union remains ad hoc and unofficial. Shane Harris, Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2023 Ma says the purpose of his 12-day visit, which is unofficial, is to make offerings to his ancestors, as well as promote cross-strait student exchanges. Jennifer Jett, NBC News, 29 Mar. 2023 Heading off to war robbed Gafford of the opportunity to play for the Steagles, the unofficial nickname for the one-year merger of the NFL’s Pittsburgh and Philadelphia franchises because of the shortage of players due to the worldwide conflict. Mark Inabinett |, al, 17 Apr. 2023 He's even become an unofficial spokesperson for the brand, preaching to friends and strangers about the benefits of owning one. Morgan Korn, ABC News, 16 Apr. 2023 Products from brands such as BMW and Apple remain available in Russia after the companies announced plans to suspend or end operations in the country, though in some cases, this is because of unofficial imports. Serhii Korolchuk, Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2023 Despite living and working in the unofficial capital of cannabis, cultivators in Northern California's Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino counties, known as the Emerald Triangle, have struggled since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2016. Alicia Victoria Lozano, NBC News, 14 Apr. 2023 Hagerty High alum Brian Ellis, team captain for his No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team, set an unofficial major college record this week by reaching base in 102 games in a row over three seasons. Buddy Collings, Orlando Sentinel, 14 Apr. 2023 They were joined by other people, and now the region has become a sort of unofficial campout spot where street parties take place and people leave everything from trash bags to unwanted vehicles, the residents have said. Barbara Henry, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Apr. 2023 See More

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

1784, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unofficial was in 1784

Dictionary Entries Near unofficial

Cite this Entry

“Unofficial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Medical Definition


un·​of·​fi·​cial ˌən-ə-ˈfish-əl How to pronounce unofficial (audio)
: not official
specifically : of, relating to, or being a drug not described in the United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary compare nonofficial, official
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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