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

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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

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 Even unskilled newbies can pull down $19 an hour, almost triple the state’s $7.25-per-hour minimum wage. David Wethe / Bloomberg, Time, "Why This Sand From Texas Is Suddenly Worth $80 a Ton," 10 July 2018 They would be termed innumerate — unskilled at working with numbers. Sandy Bauers, Philly.com, "Fear of math is harmful to your health. This woman wants to help.," 29 June 2018 These depictions of sea life are meticulous and earnest, if unskilled. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New England museums to visit this summer and fall," 4 July 2018 What the two business owners have in common is their reliance on the H-2B visa program, which allows unskilled workers from Mexico, the Philippines, Jamaica and dozens of other countries to take temporary nonfarm jobs in the United States. Patricia Cohen, New York Times, "With Jobs to Fill, Businesses Play the Visa Lottery," 27 June 2018 Meanwhile, the American economy is in great need of young, unskilled workers. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "We Owe Central American Migrants Much More Than This," 21 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.

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First Known Use of unskilled

1559, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for unskilled

Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for unskilled

The first known use of unskilled was in 1559

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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

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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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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