un·​wed ˌən-ˈwed How to pronounce unwed (audio)
: not married
an unwed mother
unwed couples
: of or relating to unmarried persons
an unwed pregnancy

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Maxwell said the final phase is perhaps the most ambitious with plans to build homes on land adjacent to the cross site for unwed mothers who don’t have the financial means or experience to care for a newborn baby. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, 9 Apr. 2023 When Deanna’s birth mother was pregnant, her parents had sent her to the Florence Crittenton Home for unwed mothers, in Norfolk, a hundred miles away. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, 3 Apr. 2023 These years have produced harsh assessments of the treatment endured by unwed mothers and their children in the Ireland of the past, as well as various proposals for what to do with the Tuam site — including one to just erect a memorial and be done with it. Dan Barry, New York Times, 14 Dec. 2022 And there’s talk about young, unwed mothers. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al, 29 June 2022 Researchers found that the number of unwed partners living together had more than doubled since 1993, going from 3% to 7%. Kailyn Brownstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2023 The reader hears the perspective of Nella’s husband Alex, whose mother, like thousands of young unwed Australian mothers in the 1950s through the ‘90s, was forced to give him up for adoption. Samantha Laine Perfas, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Jan. 2023 The work is historical fiction, based on the Magdalene laundries run by the Catholic church through the 20th century in Ireland, where unwed mothers and their children were put to work and abused. The Editors, Outside Online, 10 Jan. 2023 Chinese authorities are also moving to drop restrictions on registering the births of children born to unmarried parents in a country where unwed mothers still face stigma. Kathleen Magramo, CNN, 8 Feb. 2023 See More

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

1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of unwed was in 1513

Dictionary Entries Near unwed

Cite this Entry

“Unwed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwed. Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

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