un·​re·​gen·​er·​ate ˌən-ri-ˈje-nə-rət How to pronounce unregenerate (audio)
: not spiritually reborn or converted : not regenerate
unregenerate sinners
A string of revivals later known as the Great Awakening blazed up and down the eastern seaboard—although scholars suspect that many of these new converts soon backslid into their unregenerate ways.Molly Worthen
: not reformed (as in one's political or social views) : unreconstructed
He and his wife remained unregenerate supporters of Stalin all their lives.Barbara Kay
: obstinate, stubborn
… one of the great shibboleths in sports is that all coaches coming to the pros from college are dim, unregenerate martinets who take years to learn how to deal with men.Frank Deford
Cowley can be as rough and relentless as an old millwheel in his judgments, whether it be upon some odious personal quality, such as Hemingway's unregenerate and infantile competitiveness, or on a matter of literature.William Styron
unregenerately adverb
… the film isn't exactly bad, just unregenerately mediocre in the most bland way imaginable. Justin Southern
Finley, a local political boss who is equal parts racist, bigot, hypocrite, manipulator, adulterer and abuser, is one of the most unregenerately evil characters Williams created … Robert Reid

Did you know?

There was a time when the adjective "regenerate" had more to do with being spiritually reborn than with being physically re-created; in the 16th century, "regenerate" was used of someone spiritually reborn. By the late 1500s, English speakers had added "un-" to "regenerate" to describe someone who refused to accept spiritual reformation. Since then, "unregenerate" has taken on a life of its own, gaining the extended specific meanings of "unconverted to a particular doctrinaire viewpoint," "persisting in a reactionary stand," or just plain "stubborn." Both "regenerate" and "unregenerate" trace back to the Latin genus, meaning "birth" or "descent."

Examples of unregenerate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This shift won’t only make unregenerate oil producers richer. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 18 Oct. 2021 One stalks about the room like a criminal imprisoned, unregenerate, incorrigible. Patricia Highsmith, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 An actress, artist and, in an earlier life, unregenerate gadabout, Ms. Subkoff seemed intent on presenting the world with a shiny, self-assured and elegantly gift-wrapped version of herself. New York Times, 14 Nov. 2019

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

1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of unregenerate was in 1561


Dictionary Entries Near unregenerate

Cite this Entry

“Unregenerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unregenerate. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​re·​gen·​er·​ate ˌən-ri-ˈjen-(ə-)rət How to pronounce unregenerate (audio)
: not feeling or showing sorrow or the willingness to reform
an unregenerate criminal

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