un·​prin·​ci·​pled | \ ˌən-ˈprin(t)-s(ə-)pəld How to pronounce unprincipled (audio) , -sə-bəld \

Definition of unprincipled

: lacking moral principles : unscrupulous

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from unprincipled

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 This Conservative government is aggressively pursuing a damaging Brexit in unprincipled ways. Fox News, "Boris Johnson loses majority in UK Parliament after MP defects," 3 Sep. 2019 Detractors call Johnson buffoonish and unprincipled, reckless and feckless. Christina Boyle, Los Angeles Times, "Boris Johnson, one of Britain’s most eccentric politicians, on track to be next prime minister," 22 July 2019 Of course, prudent judgments can descend into unprincipled ones. Adam J. White, WSJ, "‘John Marshall’ Review: Chief Among Equals," 30 Nov. 2018 The retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy gives one of the worst, most unprincipled presidents in history the opportunity to cement the justices’ conservative majority for a generation. Paul Thornton, latimes.com, "Be uncivil. Resist Trump. But don't go crazy," 30 June 2018 Puzzle piece by piece, interview by interview, Mr. Wardle fits together a grim story of hubristic doctors and their grotesquely unprincipled enablers who played with human lives in the name of science. New York Times, "Review: The Surreal, Heartbreaking Case of ‘Three Identical Strangers’," 27 June 2018 His maneuvering has kept both Mr. Moon and Mr. Kim off balance, made his critics look unprincipled and shortsighted, and kept the global public fascinated with the Trump Presidency, the greatest reality-television show in history. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "The Benefits and Risks of Trump’s Dazzle," 28 May 2018 For Iannucci, who loves to mock the craven, unprincipled pursuit of power, the scenario is an antic delight and plays to his talent for hectic plot turns and (pardon the expression) rapid-fire dialogue. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "'Death of Stalin': See it because Putin doesn't want you to, and because it's funny," 21 Mar. 2018 Why do nonprofit organizations behave in unprincipled ways? Nives Dolšak, Washington Post, "The Oxfam scandal shows that, yes, nonprofits can behave badly. So why aren’t they overseen like for-profits?," 6 Mar. 2018

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

1644, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unprincipled

Time Traveler for unprincipled

Time Traveler

The first known use of unprincipled was in 1644

See more words from the same year

Statistics for unprincipled

Cite this Entry

“Unprincipled.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unprincipled. Accessed 23 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unprincipled


How to pronounce unprincipled (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unprincipled

: not having or showing concern for what is right


un·​prin·​ci·​pled | \ ˌən-ˈprin-sə-pəld How to pronounce unprincipled (audio) \

Kids Definition of unprincipled

: not having or showing high moral principles unprincipled behavior

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on unprincipled

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unprincipled

Spanish Central: Translation of unprincipled

Nglish: Translation of unprincipled for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unprincipled

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!