un·​var·​nished | \ ˌən-ˈvär-nisht How to pronounce unvarnished (audio) \

Definition of unvarnished

1a : not adorned or glossed : plain, straightforward told the unvarnished truth
b : artless, frank the unvarnished candor of old people and children— Janet Flanner
2 : not coated with or as if with varnish : crude, unfinished

Keep scrolling for more

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 Biden said the new briefings were designed to rebuild confidence in the federal government by presenting the unvarnished facts. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "In departure from freewheeling Trump, Biden puts scientists at forefront of coronavirus briefings," 27 Jan. 2021 Here’s the unvarnished truth: All of this was just the beginning. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: The death of Utah running back Ty Jordan is a cruel punch to the gut," 26 Dec. 2020 The best remedy is to provide clear and unvarnished information on what to expect. Robert M. Kaplan And Dominick L. Frosch, WSJ, "Honesty Is the Best Policy in Selling Vaccines," 28 Dec. 2020 Here’s to the unvarnished celebrity eccentrics that achieved surprise stardom this year—and got us through lockdown. Liam Hess, Vogue, "Is Celebrity Culture Dead? These 8 Surprise Social Media Stars Beg to Differ," 16 Dec. 2020 Founded during World War II, Voice of America is meant to offer an example of independent, accurate journalism to foreign audiences and to provide a fair and unvarnished portrait of American society and political debate. NBC News, "Federal watchdog finds 'substantial likelihood of wrongdoing' by Trump appointees overseeing Voice of America," 3 Dec. 2020 In doing so, the movie provides an unvarnished look at Ms. Allen’s tough-love approach to running a dance academy. New York Times, "Debbie Allen’s Technique? It’s All About Tough Love," 24 Nov. 2020 For all its inspirational moments, the documentary’s message about the future—for Paradise and the rest of the world—is unvarnished. Erin Berger, Outside Online, "'Rebuilding Paradise' Is a Portrait of Resilience," 19 Nov. 2020 Yet the unvarnished record shows that Harvard’s use of race is hardly tailored at all. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Appeals court sides with Harvard in affirmative action case," 12 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unvarnished.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of unvarnished

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unvarnished

Time Traveler for unvarnished

Time Traveler

The first known use of unvarnished was in 1605

See more words from the same year

Statistics for unvarnished

Last Updated

8 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unvarnished.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unvarnished. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unvarnished



English Language Learners Definition of unvarnished

: plain and direct
: not covered with varnish

More from Merriam-Webster on unvarnished

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unvarnished

Comments on unvarnished

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!