un·​spar·​ing ˌən-ˈsper-iŋ How to pronounce unsparing (audio)
: not merciful or forbearing : hard, ruthless
an unsparing satire
an unsparing critic
: not frugal : liberal, profuse
unsparing generosity
unsparingly adverb

Examples of unsparing in a Sentence

neighbors were unsparing in their charity when a local family was rendered homeless by a fire unsparing in his criticism of the welfare state
Recent Examples on the Web The book struck them as unsparing, accurate, and true to the spirit of an idiosyncratic and important artistic career. Nicholas Dawidoff, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2024 In Hondo’s unsparing view, overcoming colonialism’s unresolved legacy is a challenge that demands almost superhuman courage and resolve, along with an uninhibited sense of spiritual freedom. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2024 Ivo van Hove’s new production is spare and unsparing, its action unfolding within an unadorned holding room designed by Jan Versweyveld and flooded with garishly hued light. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2023 Even by the unsparing nature of the Studio 60 Problem, Che’s comedy — both on stage and in civilian quips — remains almost shockingly unfunny. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 24 Aug. 2023 But coupled with the additional unsparing headwinds wreaking havoc on the entire industry, the job is downright Herculean. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 14 Aug. 2023 Bear never softens her unsparing vision of an ancient world dominated by male violence and Olympian capriciousness. Wendy Smith, BostonGlobe.com, 10 Aug. 2023 The Son is an unsparing novel that presents Texas, and by extension America, as an epic land grab that takes a mighty psychic toll on the grabbers, at least those who possess a conscience. Chris Vognar, Chron, 28 May 2023 Noah Rothman is an unsparing critic of what passes for social justice, woolly thinking, and the habits of shoddy moralistic cliques, everywhere. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 7 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unsparing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of unsparing was circa 1586

Dictionary Entries Near unsparing

Cite this Entry

“Unsparing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsparing. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​spar·​ing ˌən-ˈspa(ə)r-iŋ How to pronounce unsparing (audio)
: not merciful or forgiving : hard, ruthless
unsparing attacks
: not stingy : liberal
unsparing in their gifts to charity
unsparingly adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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