un·​re·​spon·​sive ˌən-ri-ˈspän(t)-siv How to pronounce unresponsive (audio)
: not responsive
The patient was unresponsive.
an infection unresponsive to antibiotics
an unresponsive bureaucracy
Although they are able to locate their own food at two weeks of age, fledgling robins will still piteously beg handouts from their increasingly unresponsive father.Millard H. Sharp
unresponsively adverb
staring unresponsively
unresponsiveness noun

Examples of unresponsive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tone-deaf administrators are unresponsive to frontline realities. Sachin H. Jain, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 The sudden death of former Extreme Weight Loss star Brandi Mallory, who was found unresponsive in her car on Nov. 9, shook her fans around the world. Gillian Telling, Peoplemag, 27 Nov. 2023 He was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home, according to law enforcement. Zack Sharf, Variety, 21 Nov. 2023 Officials said she was found unresponsive near the Three-Mile Resthouse on Bright Angel Trail. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 20 Nov. 2023 The 74-year-old woman was found unresponsive after the double-deck catamaran sank Tuesday morning while heading to a private island, the Associated Press and CBS News reported. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 15 Nov. 2023 Perry, who was open about his struggles with addiction for years, was found unresponsive in a hot tub on Oct. 28 and declared dead at the scene. Alexandra Del Rosario, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023 Kudrow is the final member of the core Friends cast to bid farewell publicly following Perry’s death on Oct. 28 at 54, after he was found unresponsive in the hot tub of his L.A. home. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Nov. 2023 Early Tuesday, sheriff’s detectives were notified that a deputy who worked in a jail was found unresponsive at home and pronounced dead at a hospital in Pomona, the sources said. Eric Leonard, NBC News, 8 Nov. 2023 See More

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

1768, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unresponsive was in 1768

Dictionary Entries Near unresponsive

Cite this Entry

“Unresponsive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unresponsive. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


un·​re·​spon·​sive ˌən-ri-ˈspän(t)-siv How to pronounce unresponsive (audio)
: not responsive (as to a stimulus or treatment)
an unresponsive ulcer
unresponsiveness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on unresponsive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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