un·​re·​li·​able | \ ˌən-ri-ˈlī-ə-bəl How to pronounce unreliable (audio) \

Definition of unreliable

: not reliable : undependable, untrustworthy an unreliable friend an unreliable source of funding an unreliable car

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Other Words from unreliable

unreliability \ ˌən-​ri-​ˌlī-​ə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce unreliable (audio) \ noun
the unreliability of the data a person with a reputation for unreliability
unreliably \ ˌən-​ri-​ˈlī-​ə-​blē How to pronounce unreliable (audio) \ adverb
a method that works unreliably

Examples of unreliable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The offense’s weaknesses — a leaky offensive line, unreliable shotgun snaps, a limited receiving corps — had been exposed and exploited in a 17-3 loss. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, 7 June 2021 Imagine being fired from your job because you’ve been forced to use unreliable public transportation instead of your car. Sian Mughan, The Conversation, 2 June 2021 In time, the financial instruments championed by unreliable narrators often become fixtures of the economy, as investors develop proper skepticism and regulations emerge. Charles Duhigg, The New Yorker, 31 May 2021 Fixing Texas' unreliable power grid won't be cheap or easy. James Osborne, San Antonio Express-News, 29 May 2021 The instability and unreliable nature of bitcoin (and its general lack of adoption outside of a cryptocurrency exchange) will prevent it from being able to correlate like the dollar does with gold. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 May 2021 Some Republicans are unnerved at the slash-and-burn politics of Brooks -- who led the charge in Congress to overturn the 2020 election results -- and view him as an unreliable ally to the business community. Alex Rogers, CNN, 28 May 2021 Even before the pandemic, the bus system had steadily lost riders as buses trapped in traffic became unreliable. New York Times, 27 May 2021 The authors even offer a strategy for overcoming unreliable gasoline supplies. Dave Shiflett, WSJ, 26 May 2021

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

1810, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unreliable

Time Traveler

The first known use of unreliable was in 1810

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Statistics for unreliable

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unreliable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unreliable. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for unreliable



English Language Learners Definition of unreliable

: not able to be trusted to do or provide what is needed or promised
: not believable or trustworthy


un·​re·​li·​able | \ ˌən-ri-ˈlī-ə-bəl \

Kids Definition of unreliable

: not worthy of trust He got rid of his unreliable car.


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