un·​prin·​ci·​pled ˌən-ˈprin(t)-s(ə-)pəld How to pronounce unprincipled (audio)
: lacking moral principles : unscrupulous
unprincipledness noun

Examples of unprincipled in a Sentence

a dishonest and unprincipled attack on his reputation an unprincipled businessman who made a lot of money—and didn't care how he did it
Recent Examples on the Web There are investigators that would do unethical, unprincipled things. Graham Kates, CBS News, 18 Aug. 2023 The eagerness to put self before country, of course, is the common thread between two profoundly unprincipled politicians, Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 24 July 2023 The answer: through concentration of nearly all Court appointment power into the purpuric hands of one corrupt and unprincipled Southern reactionary - the spectacularly sociopathic Mitch McConnell. Robert Hockett, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2023 For daring to buck the system, Haywood became the target of intense criticism, as some white fans and sportswriters called him greedy and unprincipled. Theresa Runstedtler, CNN, 18 Mar. 2023 Instead of countries choosing to change those policies or designing a global agreement to strictly address unprincipled, preferential, and ultimately distortionary tax rules, governments have taken a dragnet approach that captures good tax policy as well as bad. Daniel Bunn, National Review, 6 Aug. 2021 The principled stance taken by the Baptists had mostly helped the unprincipled bootleggers. Robert Paarlberg, Wired, 11 Aug. 2020 The link between these technologies and the fall in revenues led them to characterize music fans as unprincipled thieves obsessed with getting everything for free. Rebecca Giblin Cory Doctorow, WIRED, 4 Oct. 2022 Much of it was couched in an unreconstructed view of history where the Lost Cause is noble, the Confederacy was a bastion of states rights and Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman was an unprincipled butcher. Gregory S. Schneider, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2022 See More

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

1644, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unprincipled was in 1644

Dictionary Entries Near unprincipled

Cite this Entry

“Unprincipled.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unprincipled. Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​prin·​ci·​pled ˌən-ˈprin(t)-s(ə-)pəld How to pronounce unprincipled (audio)
: lacking moral principles : unscrupulous

More from Merriam-Webster on unprincipled

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