un·​will·​ing | \ ˌən-ˈwi-liŋ How to pronounce unwilling (audio) \

Definition of unwilling

: not willing:
a : loath, reluctant was unwilling to learn
b : done or given reluctantly unwilling approval
c : offering opposition : obstinate an unwilling student

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Other Words from unwilling

unwillingly \ ˌən-​ˈwi-​liŋ-​lē How to pronounce unwillingly (audio) \ adverb
unwillingness noun

Examples of unwilling in a Sentence

He was an unwilling participant in the demonstration. unwilling contributions from city employees who felt pressured to do so

Recent Examples on the Web

Seven felony charges have been filed against a West Allis man accused of repeatedly injecting unknown substances into his unwilling on-and-off girlfriend, which may have led to paralysis in one of her hands. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A man injected his girlfriend with unknown substances. Her hand might be permanently paralyzed, police say.," 25 June 2019 In this backdrop, the central government may be more unwilling than ever to allow Hong Kong’s leaders to make a move that shows that mass action can shape what a government does. Tripti Lahiri, Quartz, "Protesters forced Hong Kong to postpone action on a hated extradition bill," 12 June 2019 One Deerfield resident who was unwilling to give his name was critical of the effort and said the village should never have passed the measure. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Deerfield residents react to judge's temporary block of assault weapons ban," 18 June 2018 As the mid-term elections loom, congressional Republicans are in defensive mood, and the White House seems unwilling to push big, risky pieces of legislation. The Economist, "Personnel changes leave fewer checks on Donald Trump’s impulses," 28 Mar. 2018 Among the results: some great edge-of-the-seat, white-knuckle racing, coupled with audacious blocking by those unwilling to give up a position. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Hembree: Daytona 500 lives up to billing with wild finish," 18 Feb. 2018 For Kerr, the chief problem with being a cat is that your needs often come up against those of an uncomprehending or unwilling world. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Mog the Cat and the Mysteries of Animal Subjectivity," 20 June 2019 Cornyn sees Democratic leaders as unwilling to address the border crisis. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Texans Cornyn, Cuellar can't get congressional colleagues to back their bipartisan immigration plan," 20 June 2019 As of yet, United have proven unwilling to meet these demands, although what their fresh offer will be is currently unknown. SI.com, "Man Utd Ready Another Contract Offer for David de Gea as Red Devils Draw Up List of Replacements," 12 June 2019

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unwilling

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for unwilling

The first known use of unwilling was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for unwilling



English Language Learners Definition of unwilling

: not wanting to do something
: made to do something that you do not want to do


un·​will·​ing | \ ˌən-ˈwi-liŋ How to pronounce unwilling (audio) \

Kids Definition of unwilling

: not willing : reluctant

Other Words from unwilling

unwillingly adverb
unwillingness noun

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Comments on unwilling

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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