un·​pre·​ten·​tious ˌən-pri-ˈten(t)-shəs How to pronounce unpretentious (audio)
: free from ostentation, elegance, or affectation : modest
unpretentious homes
an unpretentious celebrity
unpretentiously adverb
unpretentiousness noun

Example Sentences

a casual and unpretentious restaurant a simple and unpretentious account about growing up in the rural South
Recent Examples on the Web The no-frills resort is decidedly unpretentious — and that's exactly what devotees love about it. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Travel + Leisure, 28 May 2023 The little red building lasted for decades and was either unpretentious or dilapidated, depending on your perspective. David Reamer | Alaska History, Anchorage Daily News, 14 May 2023 Simple, square, and powered by a pint-size engine, the original Panda—like those that followed it—was unpretentious and practical. Brendan Mcaleer, Car and Driver, 19 Mar. 2023 Above from left: The mixture is spread inside a crusty Amoroso Philly roll; the finished product is unpretentious and undeniably satisfying. Cesar Hernandez, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Mar. 2023 The effect is unpretentious and unrefined in the best way — privacy and pleasure, without pretense. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Feb. 2023 Each cabin is unpretentious and basic, with no cell reception and minimal amenities. David Gladish, Outside Online, 31 Jan. 2023 The Bear’s heart-on-the-sleeve performances—including by Ayo Edebiri as the hero’s promising protégée and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as his stubbornly unpretentious right-hand man—had fans bellowing restaurant lingo at each other all summer. Noel Murray, Chron, 12 Dec. 2022 A lot of wine in Kunság is unpretentious, but the level of ambition is increasing. Per And Britt Karlsson, Forbes, 24 June 2022 See More

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

1838, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unpretentious was in 1838

Dictionary Entries Near unpretentious

Cite this Entry

“Unpretentious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unpretentious. Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​pre·​ten·​tious ˌən-pri-ˈten-chəs How to pronounce unpretentious (audio)
: not pretentious : not showy : simple, modest
pleasant but unpretentious homes
unpretentiously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on unpretentious

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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