un·​scathed | \ ˌən-ˈskāt͟hd How to pronounce unscathed (audio) \

Definition of unscathed

: wholly unharmed : not injured

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Can you be scathed instead of unscathed?

We often hear of a person coming through some difficult circumstance, or dangerous endeavor, and “emerging unscathed,” yet we rarely hear of anyone “emerging scathed.” Why is this? Scathe is a word: it may function as a noun (“harm, injury”) or as a verb (“to do harm to,” “to assail with withering denunciation”). It is not as commonly found as it once was, and now primarily serves as the basis for the adjective scathing (“bitterly severe”) or for the latter portion of unscathed. So you can say that someone “emerged scathed” if you wish, but be advised that it will have a curiously archaic sound to it.

Examples of unscathed in a Sentence

She escaped from the wreckage unscathed. The administration was left relatively unscathed by the scandal.
Recent Examples on the Web Not even prestigious James Beard-award winners have been unscathed. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Will restaurants survive winter with new loans from U.S. government?," 31 Dec. 2020 About three minutes from campus, the Mount Carmel Home had been relatively unscathed before the fall, even though more than 100,000 residents and employees of long-term care centers have died from Covid-19, a Times survey shows. New York Times, "Young People Have Less Covid-19 Risk, but in College Towns, Deaths Rose Fast," 12 Dec. 2020 The ship’s engineering spaces, for example, were reportedly unscathed. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "It's Official: The USS Bonhomme Richard Can't Be Saved," 1 Dec. 2020 The district’s workers have been relatively unscathed by the virus. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "Golden Gate bus drivers losing jobs at troubled transit agency: ‘We won’t be able to stay above water’," 29 Nov. 2020 The factory was destroyed but the apartment blocks were unscathed. Uwe Stuecher, Star Tribune, "The America that liberated me has the strength to overcome," 12 Nov. 2020 In 2008, a roadside bomb injured several of his friends but left him unscathed. Benedict Carey, New York Times, "Can an Algorithm Prevent Suicide?," 23 Nov. 2020 The two managed to escape unscathed, briefly going underwater after capsizing before reemerging. Allen Kim, CNN, "A humpback whale almost swallows kayakers near a California beach," 3 Nov. 2020 But other resorts in the southern hemisphere didn’t escape unscathed. Thomas Peipert, Anchorage Daily News, "US resorts are adapting to a new normal of skiing during the pandemic," 18 Oct. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unscathed

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for unscathed

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unscathed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unscathed. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for unscathed



English Language Learners Definition of unscathed

: not hurt, harmed, or damaged


un·​scathed | \ ˌən-ˈskāt͟hd How to pronounce unscathed (audio) \

Kids Definition of unscathed

: completely without harm or injury They emerged from the wreckage unscathed.

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