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

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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 Trump has also repeatedly said Obama left the federal government unprepared to deal with a crisis like the coronavirus. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "'Preternatural calm': Democrats think Obama helps Biden draw a contrast with combative Trump," 19 May 2020 Its blitzkrieg-spread caught us unprepared, fearful and playing defense. Fernando “fritz” Riveron, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: The pandemic is costing Wisconsin billions of dollars. Let's open up thoughtfully - and fight this scourge.," 7 May 2020 However, the country overall is woefully unprepared to deploy the estimated 100,000 to 300,000 contact tracers needed to tackle the coronavirus. Los Angeles Times, "Apple and Google won’t solve coronavirus contact tracing. Here’s what will," 1 May 2020 The players, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, unprepared to take even slight advantage of a year of college education, often emerge with a Masters degree in what’s wrong with sports. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Napa prep Jalen Green shows path to untangling messy NBA, NCAA relationship," 18 Apr. 2020 The students are unprepared to face such great evil, but their actions set off a harrowing chain of events that continues for the rest of the series. Sarah Stankorb, The Atlantic, "The Magicians Is Your Next Great Binge Watch," 8 Apr. 2020 That could be a sign of things to come; Latin America is almost completely unprepared for the multifaceted catastrophe now headed its way. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "The Coronavirus Threat South of the Border," 6 Apr. 2020 Classrooms Many schools were woefully unprepared to move online overnight. Jenny Anderson, Quartz, "The coronavirus pandemic is reshaping education," 29 Mar. 2020 Police agencies, largely unprepared for such a long-lasting and volatile public health disaster, have been forced to improvise, officials say. NBC News, "Police get creative to stay safe and keep order as coronavirus spreads," 28 Mar. 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.

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First Known Use of unprepared

1528, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unprepared

Time Traveler

The first known use of unprepared was in 1528

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Statistics for unprepared

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unprepared.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unprepared. Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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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

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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

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