un·rest | \ˌən-ˈrest \

Definition of unrest 

: a disturbed or uneasy state : turmoil

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of unrest in a Sentence

The country has experienced years of civil unrest. unrest gripped the city as the people nervously awaited the expected bombardment

Recent Examples on the Web

Ryan’s potential reemergence is just one of the many machinations happening in the Democratic Caucus right now, as Ocasio-Cortez’s victory in New York underscores the growing unrest with Pelosi and the party’s leadership. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Dems face big loss, big opportunity with Kavanaugh," 10 July 2018 In a video Mayes posted on Facebook on the second night of the riots he can be heard saying that unrest was necessary and the Sherman Park police station was one of the city's worst. Todd Richmond, chicagotribune.com, "Feds charge man with planning to firebomb Wisconsin police station," 6 July 2018 But the unrest in New York City is a landmark moment: For all its cultural liberalism, the city is usually a politically rigid place — a tough arena for newcomers, given the party machines and election laws that discourage competition. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "4 Takeaways From Tuesday’s Primary Elections," 27 June 2018 Violent civil unrest has been part of this area since the city was founded along the Ohio River in 1788. John Kiesewetter, Cincinnati.com, "Civil unrest woven into city's history," 8 June 2018 Nicaragua’s government denies links to paramilitary groups and says the unrest is the result of an opposition plot to overthrow it. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Nicaragua’s Political Crisis Descends Into ‘Dark Days’," 6 June 2018 However, civil unrest and violent demonstrations spurred by plans to raise gas prices in the country prevented the groups from getting home safely. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "Stranded Troy Kensington Church mission members back from Haiti," 11 July 2018 The unrest and killings, which human-rights group blame on the police and pro-Ortega paramilitaries, have brought Nicaragua’s economy, which depends on agriculture and tourism, to a standstill. John Otis, WSJ, "Nicaraguan Leader’s Former Pro-Business Allies Want Him Out," 10 July 2018 Analysts worry that a closer than expected result, or an upset by one of the other candidates, might lead to new allegations of fraud or even unrest and violence. Joshua Partlow And Maya Averbuch, BostonGlobe.com, "Mexicans head to polls to choose a new president as relations with US grow unusually fraught," 1 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unrest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of unrest

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unrest

Statistics for unrest

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unrest

The first known use of unrest was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unrest



English Language Learners Definition of unrest

: a situation in which many of the people in a country are angry and hold protests or act violently


un·rest | \ˌən-ˈrest \

Kids Definition of unrest

: a disturbed or uneasy state political unrest

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on unrest

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


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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