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 The Kalash, whose wooden houses cling to the craggy hillsides of three valleys in Pakistan’s often unruly northwest, are the country’s smallest minority group. New York Times, "Welcoming a New Year at an Ancient Festival in Pakistan," 27 Dec. 2020 For those with especially unruly facial fur, rotary shavers with spinning discs are better than one-direction foil blades at managing it but be prepared to spend a bit more time cleaning them. Jeremy Helligar, Popular Science, "Best electric shaver: Get a smooth shave with our picks," 18 Dec. 2020 His paper vistas are as minimal and orderly as a Zen temple’s rock garden, yet — like such temple features — evoke a world that’s prodigious and unruly. Washington Post, "In the galleries: Up to his elbows in watery works and lustrous prints," 18 Dec. 2020 Netflix’s newest mystery drama, Enola Holmes, introduces both Sherlock newbies and diehards to Enola (Millie Bobby Brown), a witty and unruly teenager who’s thrown for a loop when her mother, Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), disappears overnight. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "Enola Holmes’ Ending Seems To Promise A Sequel & Millie Bobby Brown Is Already Down," 23 Sep. 2020 Other top questions for Annie concerned wild and unruly children at a wedding, marriages on the rocks, and unrequited love. oregonlive, "Dear Annie brings a fresh perspective to 2020 advice: COVID-related column leads the top 10 list," 2 Jan. 2021 This was the disordered and unruly world Lincoln experienced. Gordon S. Wood, WSJ, "‘Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times’ Review: Unruly Genius," 25 Sep. 2020 An event unfolded outside a Fort Lauderdale home in late September that became something of a physical representation of the unruly 2020 presidential campaign. David Schutz, sun-sentinel.com, "These are the 20 most-read stories of 2020 on SunSentinel.com," 24 Dec. 2020 His unruly administration revealed cracks that need more than mere patching to be sturdy and whole. Casey Michel, The New Republic, "How to Make Kleptocrats Fear America Again," 23 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for unruly

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for unruly

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unruly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unruly. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for unruly

unruly

adjective
How to pronounce unruly (audio)

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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Comments on unruly

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