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

The decision to close the restaurant was made about a week ago when the restaurant's landlord was unwilling to meet and negotiate rent relief to help Andiamo cope with the recent scarcity of parking, Vicari said. Bryce Airgood, Detroit Free Press, "Andiamo CEO fires back after Royal Oak mayor pans food," 9 July 2018 Kim, for example, is believed to be unwilling to meet on a US aircraft carrier off the Korean coast. Elise Labott, CNN, "Sticking point on Trump-Kim talks: Location, location, location," 18 Apr. 2018 Star players discovered a bloc of front offices unwilling to meet their contract expectations. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "In a Tepid Free-Agent Market, Baseball Teams Still Need Relief," 5 Mar. 2018 Peterson said management so far has been unwilling to meet the AFA union's position in continuing contract talks. Author: Dominic Gates, Anchorage Daily News, "As Alaska Air cuts costs, employee discontent grows," 7 Jan. 2018 Car break-ins are surging there, but arrests are rare and police seem unable or even unwilling to protect the public. Fox News, "Tucker: Brett Kavanaugh and the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party," 18 Sep. 2018 But in the same neighborhoods that experience the most murders, witnesses have gone silent, unable or unwilling to confide in members of a police force viewed as adversaries. Kathleen Frydl, Vox, "Why we should abolish ICE — and the DEA too," 14 Aug. 2018 Police were continuing to investigate the shooting, the second shooting in the city in about a three-hour span in which the victim was unable or unwilling to provide information on a possible suspect. The Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Gunshot victim in Phoenix described as 'uncooperative' by police," 8 June 2018 But the Clippers had been unwilling to do a sign-and-trade that would have netted them Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews and his expiring contract of $18.7 million, according to officials. Broderick Turner, latimes.com, "Clippers center DeAndre Jordan opts out of contract. He's expected to join the Mavericks," 30 June 2018

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

5 Mar 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

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