un·​rea·​son·​able | \ ˌən-ˈrēz-nə-bəl, -ˈrē-zᵊn-ə-bəl How to pronounce unreasonable (audio) \

Definition of unreasonable

1a : not governed by or acting according to reason unreasonable people
b : not conformable to reason : absurd unreasonable beliefs
2 : exceeding the bounds of reason or moderation working under unreasonable pressure

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Other Words from unreasonable

unreasonableness \ ˌən-​ˈrēz-​nə-​bəl-​nəs , -​ˈrē-​zᵊn-​ə-​bəl-​ How to pronounce unreasonable (audio) \ noun
unreasonably \ ˌən-​ˈrēz-​nə-​blē , -​ˈrē-​zᵊn-​ə-​blē How to pronounce unreasonable (audio) \ adverb

Examples of unreasonable in a Sentence

I told him that I wouldn't pay unless he sent me a replacement. Am I being unreasonable? You are entitled to compensation for unreasonable delays.
Recent Examples on the Web To file such charges, prosecutors would need to prove that the officers’ use of force was unreasonable and that the officers broke the law willfully and deliberately. Byron Tau, WSJ, "Two Officers in Tamir Rice’s Fatal Shooting Won’t Face Federal Charges," 30 Dec. 2020 And the Minnesota Department of Commerce said the surcharge's size is unreasonable and that Xcel should pay for part of it. Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune, "Crunch time for Xcel electricity rate hike request," 13 Dec. 2020 As for the sanctions from LSU, yes, the NCAA’s rules on college athletes getting paid are archaic and unreasonable, and need to be overhauled. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Odell Beckham Jr. again leaves everyone wondering what he's doing," 21 Oct. 2020 But to do so, the government must first demonstrate there’s significant or unreasonable risk to health. Chiara Eisner, Wired, "Americans Took Prevagen for Years—as the FDA Questioned Its Safety," 21 Oct. 2020 In practice, whenever lower federal courts rule that certain barriers to voting are unfair or unreasonable and should be lifted, most of the higher court’s conservatives decide to use the Purcell principle as a rationale to reimpose those barriers. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Supreme Court Justices Are Politicians, Too," 14 Oct. 2020 Rowling has a fatwa on her head — put there by the most unserious, hateful, and unreasonable people that our sick and sorry culture has spat out. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "Is J. K. Rowling’s New Book ‘Transphobic’?," 17 Sep. 2020 In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, RTD also adopted an extreme and unreasonable emergency rule. Andy Bosselman, The Denver Post, "Guest commentary: RTD tightens rules, expands policing to keep out poor and homeless," 6 May 2020 Robert Whittle and Annie Esposito sued the department Wednesday in federal court, saying their son wasn’t a threat and that Officer Darrell Broadhead used unreasonable force in killing him. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Sheriff apologizes to family of mentally ill man killed by Unified police, but says shooting was justified," 24 Oct. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of unreasonable was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unreasonable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unreasonable. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for unreasonable


How to pronounce unreasonable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unreasonable

: not fair, sensible, or appropriate : not reasonable


un·​rea·​son·​able | \ ˌən-ˈrē-zᵊn-ə-bəl How to pronounce unreasonable (audio) \

Kids Definition of unreasonable

: not fair, sensible, appropriate, or moderate an unreasonable schedule unreasonable behavior an unreasonable fear

Other Words from unreasonable

unreasonably \ -​blē \ adverb



Legal Definition of unreasonable

: not reasonable : beyond what can be accepted: as
a : clearly inappropriate, excessive, or harmful in degree or kind an unreasonable delay an unreasonable restraint of trade
b : lacking justification in fact or circumstance an unreasonable inference especially : irrational sense b the agency decision was unreasonable
c : not supported by a warrant or by a valid exception to a warrant requirement (as when there is reasonable suspicion) and therefore unconstitutional the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violatedU.S. Constitution amend. IV — see also search, seizure

Other Words from unreasonable

unreasonableness noun
unreasonably adverb

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