un·​pre·​pared | \ ˌən-pri-ˈperd How to pronounce unprepared (audio) \

Definition of unprepared

: not prepared was unprepared for class … they were woefully unprepared to take on the responsibilities expected of them.— Richard M. Ketchum

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from unprepared

unpreparedness \ ˌən-​pri-​ˈper-​əd-​nəs How to pronounce unpreparedness (audio) also  -​ˈperd-​nəs \ noun

Examples of unprepared in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most gator pet owners are unprepared to care for an adult animal that can reach 14 feet and live 80 years, Johnson says. Tina Deines, National Geographic, "Alligators make terrible pets: 'You're basically dealing with a dinosaur.'," 31 July 2020 But only a quarter felt that they were fully prepared for discussing matters with patients, and 10 percent felt completely unprepared (most were somewhere in between). John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Neurologists warn of the danger of “stem cell tourism”," 31 July 2020 Small business managers, in particular, said their companies were unprepared to provide any safety guidelines to employees traveling for work. Rachel King, Fortune, "Who will business travelers hold accountable for their safety after the pandemic?," 29 July 2020 Result: Chalk up another example of how MLB came into this totally unprepared. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Only days into baseball’s experiment, it already seems doomed," 7 July 2020 Much of Trump's problems come from voters seeing Trump as unprepared to handle issues where people need comfort, not necessarily good policy. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "Trump's electoral problem: Too many people hate him," 24 June 2020 The absence of testing to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, left the nation unprepared in February and March as the deadly virus swept across the United States. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "'Pushing the boundaries': Long lines for COVID tests, stressed labs delay results as demand spikes," 12 July 2020 To be sure, going remote has been a massive, forced experiment, and most companies—even the most forward-thinking tech players—were wholly unprepared for it. Michal Lev-ram, Fortune, "Silicon Valley companies are rethinking in-office perks for a post-pandemic era," 3 July 2020 Back in March and April, the U.S. was unprepared for the massive need for PPE as COVID-19 hit the country. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, "Health Care Workers Treating Coronavirus Are Running Out of Medical Masks and Gloves — Again," 9 July 2020

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

1528, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unprepared

Time Traveler for unprepared

Time Traveler

The first known use of unprepared was in 1528

See more words from the same year

Statistics for unprepared

Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unprepared.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unprepared. Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unprepared


How to pronounce unprepared (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unprepared

: not ready to deal with something : not prepared


un·​pre·​pared | \ ˌən-pri-ˈperd \

Kids Definition of unprepared

: not being or made ready

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on unprepared

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unprepared

Spanish Central: Translation of unprepared

Nglish: Translation of unprepared for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unprepared

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
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!