un·​var·​nished ˌən-ˈvär-nisht How to pronounce unvarnished (audio)
: not adorned or glossed : plain, straightforward
told the unvarnished truth
: artless, frank
the unvarnished candor of old people and childrenJanet Flanner
: not coated with or as if with varnish : crude, unfinished

Examples of unvarnished in a Sentence

If you want my unvarnished opinion, the movie stinks. I'm telling the unvarnished truth.
Recent Examples on the Web By the early ’90s, fashion started worshiping new kinds of models, like the fragile-looking Kate Moss, moving away from the high-octane glamour of the ’80s and toward a more unvarnished look. Eliza Brooke, New York Times, 1 Nov. 2023 What is striking, however, is how many credible news organizations are failing to describe in clear-eyed terms to their audiences — who count on them, and often pay them to deliver the unvarnished truth — what the network actually is. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 22 Aug. 2023 Each individual shared her unvarnished truth about the costs involved — financial, physical, and emotional — and no two stories are the same. Paige Stables, Allure, 16 Nov. 2023 The soon-to-be-formal settlement of the SAG-AFTRA strike, bringing actors alongside their writing brethren back to work, is unvarnished good news for a legacy media business that has had precious little of it in 2023 (or 2022 or 2021 for that matter). Howard Homonoff, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 The weekly sessions were intended for unvarnished recaps of the previous weekend’s game that helped the team process the highs and lows of each performance. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2023 At the trial, prosecutors have used that testimony as the basis for an unvarnished look inside FTX’s rapid unraveling — a frantic week in November that ended in one of the largest corporate collapses in recent history. David Yaffe-Bellany, New York Times, 20 Oct. 2023 Dir Iram Parveen Bilal Pakistan, USA A Pakistani widow becomes an overnight sensation when her unvarnished opinions leak on to social media. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Nov. 2023 By the early twentieth century, however, nationalist ideologues were already using the concept of Russian exceptionalism to defend an unvarnished militarism. Andrei Kolesnikov, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unvarnished.' 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

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of unvarnished was in 1605

Dictionary Entries Near unvarnished

Cite this Entry

“Unvarnished.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unvarnished. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​var·​nished ˌən-ˈvär-nisht How to pronounce unvarnished (audio)
: not adorned or exaggerated : plain
the unvarnished truth
: not varnished
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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