un·​re·​spon·​sive | \ ˌən-ri-ˈspän(t)-siv How to pronounce unresponsive (audio) \

Definition of unresponsive

: 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

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Other Words from unresponsive

unresponsively adverb
staring unresponsively
unresponsiveness noun

Examples of unresponsive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The most recent occurred 2016, when a diver ascended to the surface faster than the rest of his group and became unresponsive while swimming toward the boat. Los Angeles Times, "Once the fire started, it was too late for many on board the Conception," 3 Sep. 2019 The footage showing the August 2016 death of Tony Timpa in Dallas shows an officer pinning him to the ground with his hands cuffed behind him for nearly 14 minutes as the 32-year-old eventually becomes unresponsive. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, "Disturbing video shows Dallas officers joking as they restrain man who died," 31 July 2019 Body camera footage obtained Tuesday by The Dallas Morning News shows first responders waited at least four minutes after Timpa became unresponsive to begin CPR. Dallas News, "'You're gonna kill me!': Dallas police body cam footage reveals the final minutes of Tony Timpa's life," 30 July 2019 Within moments of detecting the substance, the K9 became unresponsive and was immediately transported to the Staton infirmary. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Alabama prison K9 dies after drug raid, will be buried with full honors," 22 July 2019 Saad at first appeared to be breathing normally, but later became unresponsive and was pronounced dead at a hospital. Nico Savidge, The Mercury News, "Redwood City officers followed policy in Taser death, police say," 9 July 2019 Once the gerbils learned this behavior, scientists deafened the animals, causing them to become unresponsive to the loudspeaker. Justin Chen, STAT, "Pulses of light restored hearing in gerbils. Could that lead to higher-tech cochlear implants?," 11 July 2018 The flight, which was taxiing for departure to Los Angeles, became unresponsive to air traffic control shortly before takeoff. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "A JetBlue Pilot Accidentally Triggered a Hijacking Alert. Panic and Chaos Ensued," 27 June 2018 Politicians become unresponsive to popular preferences and needs. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "America’s Version of Capitalism Is Incompatible With Democracy," 23 May 2018

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

1768, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unresponsive

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for unresponsive

The first known use of unresponsive was in 1768

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More Definitions for unresponsive


How to pronounce unresponsive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unresponsive

: not replying or reacting to someone's question, request, demand, etc.
medical : not reacting or able to react in a normal way when touched, spoken to, etc.


un·​re·​spon·​sive | \ ˌən-ri-ˈspän(t)-siv How to pronounce unresponsive (audio) \

Medical Definition of unresponsive

: not responsive (as to a stimulus or treatment) an unresponsive ulcer

Other Words from unresponsive

unresponsiveness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on unresponsive

Spanish Central: Translation of unresponsive

Comments on unresponsive

What made you want to look up unresponsive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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