un·​read | \ ˌən-ˈred \

Definition of unread

1 : not read : left unexamined
2 : lacking the experience or the benefits of reading unread in political science

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Examples of unread in a Sentence

On her desk was a pile of magazines that had been left unread for months. an officer who seemed to be completely unread in military theory

Recent Examples on the Web

An influx of pressing work emails. 97 unread texts from your friend group chat. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why an Old-School Alarm Clock—Not a Smartphone—Is the Secret to a Better Night’s Sleep," 10 Nov. 2018 My Gmail inbox currently has 21,087 unread messages. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "The Madewell Jeans I Own Three Pairs of Are On Sale Right Now," 24 Aug. 2018 Neither is the case—all those open tabs, unread messages, and pending updates are a drain on resources, both computational and personal. Chris Wilkinson, Ars Technica, "1990, meet 2018: How far does 20MHz of Macintosh IIsi power go today?," 1 July 2018 One reporter shared a string of unread emails from Cloud, all pushing various Student Loan Report studies. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "The Undoing of an Online Student-Loan 'Expert'," 26 Apr. 2018 But there are two different ways of considering the tsundoku-afflicted: One on side is the tendency to see the pileup of unread material as a burden. John Warner, chicagotribune.com, "Got a bad case of tsundoku? Don't let it get you down.," 28 Mar. 2018 Perhaps his most satisfying stint was as the first executive secretary of the UN convention on biodiversity of 1992—in effect an African safeguarder of that vast and endangered genetic library, still hardly catalogued and still largely unread. The Economist, "Seeds of changeCalestous Juma died on December 15th," 11 Jan. 2018 Number of unread emails This is gonna drive people insane: 24,950. WSJ, "Nick Kroll Reveals What’s On His Phone," 28 Sep. 2017 Its absence meant that the only way for users of the iPhone to know of unread messages was by interacting with the phone’s screen – which many people now do countless times each day, in hopes of seeing a new email or other notification message. The Conversation, Fortune, "Is the New iPhone Designed for Cybersafety?," 18 Sep. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for unread

The first known use of unread was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for unread



English Language Learners Definition of unread

: not read

More from Merriam-Webster on unread

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unread

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unread

Comments on unread

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


to deny responsibility for

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