un·​spar·​ing | \ ˌən-ˈsper-iŋ How to pronounce unsparing (audio) \

Definition of unsparing

1 : not merciful or forbearing : hard, ruthless an unsparing satire an unsparing critic
2 : not frugal : liberal, profuse unsparing generosity

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Other Words from unsparing

unsparingly \ ˌən-​ˈsper-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce unsparingly (audio) \ 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

After all, their books and articles are full of unsparing facts and observations about the president—and those quotes came from White House staffers and other administration officials. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Trump Insiders, Come Out of the Shadows," 27 Dec. 2018 Bryan Mealer’s family history is sympathetic but unsparing, probing the welter of tough circumstances that impoverished generations of his father’s people. Andrew R. Graybill, WSJ, "What to Give: History Books," 15 Nov. 2018 Ultimately, Brown paints a sympathetic but unsparing portrait of a frustrated intelligence lashing out in petty cruelty at a world that has given her nothing to do with her life. Constance Grady, Vox, "The 16 best books I read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 Win McNamee/Getty Images James Mattis resigned as defense secretary on Thursday, delivering an unsparing two-page resignation letter to President Donald Trump that served as a searing indictment of the president’s foreign policy. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Mattis’s resignation was a scathing indictment of Trump’s foreign policy," 21 Dec. 2018 In general, Judge has been unsparing of men accused of assault, including the conservative Senate candidate Roy Moore. Avi Selk, The Seattle Times, "What the man accused of helping Kavanaugh assault a woman wrote about female sexuality," 17 Sep. 2018 More than anything, this emotionally unsparing but never-punishing movie feels like the work of someone who kept his eyes and ears wide open. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Review: Bo Burnham's 'Eighth Grade' is a beautifully honest portrait of adolescent girlhood," 11 July 2018 His most popular projects — all unsparing portraits of bureaucratic ineptitude — have alternated between skewering British and American politics but each is infused with his uniquely acerbic, cringe-inducing sense of humor. Isaac Feldberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Armando Iannucci sees the humor in history — even when it comes to Stalin," 8 Mar. 2018 Lukach’s voice — unsparing and even ruthless, but grounded in love — helps the book vault past the stereotype of an illness memoir. UNDERGROUND FUGUE, by Margot Singer. Joumana Khatib, New York Times, "New in Paperback: ‘The Book That Changed America,’ ‘Manhattan Beach’," 22 June 2018

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

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for unsparing

The first known use of unsparing was circa 1586

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English Language Learners Definition of unsparing

formal : very harsh or severe

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Comments on unsparing

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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