un·​skilled | \ ˌən-ˈskild \

Definition of unskilled

1 : not skilled in a branch of work : lacking technical training an unskilled worker
2 : not requiring skill unskilled jobs
3 : marked by lack of skill produced unskilled poems

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of unskilled in a Sentence

an unskilled handling of the facial features in the portrait explains why it is attributed to “school of Velázquez” and not to the master himself hired unskilled workers because they would work for lower wages

Recent Examples on the Web

Temporary work permits would be available to low-skilled and unskilled workers. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Britain and EU Plan for Brexit Breakdown," 19 Dec. 2018 People who do manual labor, or unskilled work, also fall into this category. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Hurricane Florence is costing workers income. Blame federal labor laws.," 14 Sep. 2018 The participants were skilled and unskilled, immigrant and native-born, revolutionary and reformist. Livia Gershon, Longreads, "Clocking Out," 11 July 2018 Low-wage, unskilled workers are considered hourly workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal law that governs workers’ pay. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Hurricane Florence is costing workers income. Blame federal labor laws.," 14 Sep. 2018 Legacies of apartheid—the system of white-minority rule that ushered young black people toward unskilled jobs—are also contributing to the industry’s demise. Alexandra Wexler, WSJ, "South Africa Gold-Mining Companies Pay High Price to Keep Digging," 7 Oct. 2018 My boyfriend then took me to an unskilled provider who carried out a surgical procedure on me at 12 weeks. Josephine Sedgwick, New York Times, "‘I Couldn’t Tell Anyone’: Women Around the World Reveal Intimate Stories of Abortion," 9 July 2018 The decades following World War II, when unskilled workers formed the union movement’s backbone, marked the most rapid decreases in income inequality. Susan Dynarski, New York Times, "Fresh Proof That Strong Unions Help Reduce Income Inequality," 6 July 2018 The company, which specializes in putting together variety packs of beers for Miller and other brewers, has had a particularly hard time holding on to unskilled laborers, who pack bottles into boxes and load them onto pallets. Ben Casselman, New York Times, "Robots or Job Training: Manufacturers Grapple With How to Improve Their Economic Fortunes," 25 June 2018

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

1559, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unskilled

Statistics for unskilled

Last Updated

4 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unskilled

The first known use of unskilled was in 1559

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unskilled



English Language Learners Definition of unskilled

: not having special skills : without training or education
: not requiring special skills or training


un·​skilled | \ ˌən-ˈskild \

Kids Definition of unskilled

1 : not having skill unskilled workers
2 : not needing skill unskilled jobs

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on unskilled

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


irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!