un·​spo·​ken | \ ˌən-ˈspō-kən \

Definition of unspoken

: not spoken : expressed or understood without being directly stated an unspoken agreement/assumption an unspoken rule
unspoken to
: not spoken to … she had sat the whole evening through in the same chair without occupation, not speaking, and unspoken to.— Anthony Trollope

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Examples of unspoken in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Breaking the unspoken rules of royal tradition, which decree non-distracting polish shades as mandatory, the Duchess of Sussex revealed a dark purple pedicure for a performance of Cirque du Soleil's Totem show. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s Royal Quick Change Is a Lesson in Date Night Beauty," 16 Jan. 2019 Lichter said there is an unspoken pressure for arbitrators to limit the size of awards for workers who were wronged. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "The quiet tactic employers use to keep you from suing them," 1 Aug. 2018 At a Thom Browne event, there is a strict, yet unspoken, dress code: Wear only Thom Browne. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Thom Browne's Dinner With Barneys New York Was a Parade of Polos, Octopus Gowns, and Whale-Print Silk Separates," 11 Sep. 2018 In some cases, locals adhere to an unspoken pact of silence. Samantha Pearson, WSJ, "In Latin America, Awash in Crime, Citizens Impose Their Own Brutal Justice," 6 Dec. 2018 Even when there isn't a strict dress code, there always seem to be unspoken rules and etiquette around clothing, like no white (or anything that could be mistaken for white) or no club-casual attire. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Kate Middleton Rewore a Dress to Attend a Friend's Wedding (Again!)," 24 Sep. 2018 Gift bags can only be appropriately used in one context: exchanged between adults as a sad, unspoken agreement to accept the death of holiday magic, mystery, and beauty. Emily Chiu, Redbook, "Why I Never Put Christmas Presents In Gift Bags," 5 Nov. 2018 The aforementioned high schoolers certainly weren’t the first people to rail against the policing of women’s bodies or the societal standards contributing to the unspoken rule that women should wear bras. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Why You Don't Have to Wear a Bra," 30 Nov. 2018 Under the unspoken Victorian rules of conduct for illicit affairs, Ms. Miller explains, men were expected to provide for their children. Melanie Kirkpatrick, WSJ, "‘Bringing Down the Colonel’ Review: The Mistress Wanted Marriage," 18 Nov. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

30 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for unspoken

The first known use of unspoken was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of unspoken

: expressed or understood without being directly stated

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Spanish Central: Translation of unspoken

Nglish: Translation of unspoken for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unspoken

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


a servile follower or underling

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