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 But federal lawmakers have been unwilling to authorize such a cash infusion, forcing many cities to take drastic steps to balance their budgets for fiscal 2021, which for many governments begins on July 1. Tony Romm, BostonGlobe.com, "More than 700 cash-strapped cities halt plans to repair roads, water systems or make other key investments," 27 June 2020 Republicans condemned Senate Democrats for being unwilling to even debate the bill on the Senate floor, although Democrats argued that it should have been discussed in committee before being brought to a vote by the full Senate. Grace Segers, CBS News, "House passes wide-ranging Democratic police reform bill," 26 June 2020 Part of the problem that exists in this country today is that mainstream, normal people have been unwilling to call the President out on it. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "How Ben & Jerry’s activist history allows it to call out white supremacy and police brutality," 23 June 2020 Ryabkov also said that Russia would be unable to force China to join the negotiations and was unwilling to try. NBC News, "China overshadows nuclear treaty talks between U.S., Russia," 22 June 2020 Dede’s unwilling to break off her throuple, pushing Hadassah to temporarily quit her campaign. EW.com, "The Politician season 2 binge recap," 19 June 2020 But some of the stars of the men’s tour are showing themselves unable, or unwilling, to grasp their responsibility in this unique moment. oregonlive, "Rafael Nadal and even Nick Kyrgios show the way for tennis during coronavirus pandemic as other stars ignore risks," 29 June 2020 Withdrawal from these arenas -- from Hong Kong to Geneva -- leaves US allies in limbo, reluctant to follow Washington's lead and unwilling to disengage from China. Mary E. Lovely For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Trump's removal of Hong Kong's special status hurts the US more than China," 22 June 2020 In practice, however, financial crises in recent decades have been so acute that central banks have mostly been unable or unwilling to discriminate. The Economist, "Bartleby Waging war on recessions," 20 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for unwilling

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for unwilling

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unwilling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwilling. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for unwilling


How to pronounce unwilling (audio)

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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