un·​re·​con·​struct·​ed ˌən-ˌrē-kən-ˈstrək-təd How to pronounce unreconstructed (audio)
: not reconciled to some political, economic, or social change
an unreconstructed rebel
also : holding stubbornly to a particular belief, view, place, or style
an unreconstructed hard-liner

Did you know?

The reorganization and reestablishment of the seceded states in the Union after the American Civil War is referred to as the Reconstruction. The earliest known use of unreconstructed is by a writer for the Boston, Massachusetts, publication The Liberator, who in 1865 used it to describe Southerners who were not reconciled to the outcome of the War and the changes enacted during the Reconstruction. The word immediately caught on and has been used to refer to intransigent or dyed-in-the-wool partisans ever since. The word is also used outside of political and social contexts, as when a person is described as "an unreconstructed rocker" or "an unreconstructed romantic."

Examples of unreconstructed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The most direct criticism of Peltz came from Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a management professor at Yale who is an unreconstructed fan of Iger’s. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2024 Affluent suburban libertarians, rural fundamentalists, ambitious pundits, unreconstructed racists, and fiscally conservative housewives all can and do claim to be Tea Party supporters. Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs, 1 Mar. 2011 The world’s inability or unwillingness to displace an unreconstructed Qaddafi would give succor to a number of groups, including al-Qaeda, that could seize chaos in Libya and North Africa as an opportunity to extend their influence. Dirk Vandewalle, Foreign Affairs, 21 Mar. 2011 The liveliest glimpses of life seemed wedged between the old, unreconstructed city and the shinier, up-and-coming version. John Bowe, Travel + Leisure, 18 Oct. 2023 My reputation as an unreconstructed dweeb was instantly established and soon became so widespread that by the next year, foreign exchange students from as far away as Laos were applying to the Baltimore school system just to get a glimpse of me. Jeffrey Kluger, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Our faith in the metamorphosed Kennedy depends on leaving the political opinions of the unreconstructed Kennedy vague. Rachel Cusk, Harper's Magazine, 10 Sep. 2023 The five-speed is a (groan) automatic, the grip reaches its limit with too little warning. VERDICT: Only an unreconstructed sports-car nut would find this machine lacking. Patrick Bedard, Car and Driver, 19 Aug. 2023 The pans and zooms land cartoonishly on boobs and butts, as dapper engineer and new dad Cédric (Patrick Hivon) cheerfully downs solo cups of stadium beer while his loudmouthed, proudly unreconstructed buddy (Hubert Proulx) casually ranks the attractiveness of online women. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 23 Jan. 2022

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

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unreconstructed was in 1865


Dictionary Entries Near unreconstructed

Cite this Entry

“Unreconstructed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unreconstructed. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on unreconstructed

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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