unruly

adjective
un·​ruly | \ ˌən-ˈrü-lē How to pronounce unruly (audio) \
unrulier; unruliest

Definition of unruly

: not readily ruled, disciplined, or managed an unruly crowd a mane of unruly hair

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Other Words from unruly

unruliness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for unruly

unruly, ungovernable, intractable, refractory, recalcitrant, willful, headstrong mean not submissive to government or control. unruly implies lack of discipline or incapacity for discipline and often connotes waywardness or turbulence of behavior. unruly children ungovernable implies either an escape from control or guidance or a state of being unsubdued and incapable of controlling oneself or being controlled by others. ungovernable rage intractable suggests stubborn resistance to guidance or control. intractable opponents of the hazardous-waste dump refractory stresses resistance to attempts to manage or to mold. special schools for refractory children recalcitrant suggests determined resistance to or defiance of authority. acts of sabotage by a recalcitrant populace willful implies an obstinate determination to have one's own way. a willful disregard for the rights of others headstrong suggests self-will impatient of restraint, advice, or suggestion. a headstrong young cavalry officer

Examples of unruly in a Sentence

unruly pupils were given detention as a matter of course a camp that was known as a place where unruly youths were given their last chance to shape up

Recent Examples on the Web

Fred Trump chose the strict boarding school in Cornwall-on-Hudson mainly to straighten out his unruly son, then 13. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Meeting With Kim Tests Trump’s Dealmaking Swagger," 9 June 2018 Flannigan’s group, though, became unruly and was kicked out of the bar. Paige Fry, chicagotribune.com, "Civil trial seeks responsibility for the death of Palatine man killed by one punch," 31 May 2018 But the curators were perhaps too enamored of the artists Mr. Kelley, Jim Shaw, John Miller, Tony Oursler, Sue Williams and Raymond Pettibon, whose unruly, sometimes scatalogical work in Los Angeles from the 1970s-2010s dominate the last two rooms. Richard B. Woodward, WSJ, "‘Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy’ Review: Paranoid Imaginings," 24 Sep. 2018 Her sister, the eldest, was unruly but brilliant, frequently playing hooky from school but usually emerging at the top of her class. Nathan Heller, Vogue, "Claire Foy on Becoming a Mother and Trading Her Crown for a Dragon Tattoo," 10 Oct. 2018 Extensive jury selection continued Tuesday in the trial of a Brown Deer police officer charged with shooting an unarmed man who was being unruly on a bus. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Trial begins for Brown Deer police officer who shot bus passenger," 13 Feb. 2018 Teachers must make the right snap decision in dealing with unruly students multiple times each day. WSJ, "Fed-Up Teachers Take Their Chances Elsewhere," 4 Jan. 2019 What is setting and reaching physical training goals if not one of the ultimate forms of control over an unruly body? Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Dialysis and Her Second Kidney Transplant," 10 Dec. 2018 Once an unruly stray, Ruby became a hero to the volunteer who tirelessly trained her. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "This Abandoned Shelter Dog Rescued the Missing Son of Her Former Trainer," 20 Nov. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for unruly

Middle English unreuly, from un- + reuly disciplined, from reule rule

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Dictionary Entries near unruly

unruined

unrulable

unruled

unruly

unrumpled

unrung

unrushed

Statistics for unruly

Last Updated

7 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for unruly

The first known use of unruly was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for unruly

unruly

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of unruly

disapproving : difficult to control

unruly

adjective
un·​ruly | \ ˌən-ˈrü-lē How to pronounce unruly (audio) \
unrulier; unruliest

Kids Definition of unruly

: difficult to control unruly hair

Other Words from unruly

unruliness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on unruly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unruly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unruly

Spanish Central: Translation of unruly

Nglish: Translation of unruly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unruly for Arabic Speakers

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