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

Domino’s has been unable to win the case and unwilling to settle, staking its reputation—and perhaps the future of digital equality—on the outcome. Jason Mckee, WIRED, "Domino's and the Web are Failing the Disabled," 16 Aug. 2019 Relatives who are unable or unwilling to take over a family-run business often sell to a competitor, a national group or a private equity firm, said Randy Harig, CEO of TRTF and chairman of Community House. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "Nonprofit buys 88-year-old San Antonio lumber company," 14 Aug. 2019 Most people are unwilling to confront an aural offender in a restaurant, on a bus or on an airplane. Elliott Hester, Los Angeles Times, "Biggest offender in failing to use headphones on a plane is a person named Mom," 1 Aug. 2019 Most recently, Amash’s bipartisan amendment to curb warrantless surveillance failed in the House, thanks in part to the many Democrats who are unwilling to spend any political capital to make sure Americans are not spied on by their own government. Lucy Steigerwald, The New Republic, "Justin Amash and the Libertarian Future," 29 July 2019 With three years remaining on his reported $18.7 million per year contract, Europe's top clubs will perhaps be unwilling to take that risk on an injury-prone 30-year-old, which is why he has been linked with a move to the Chinese Super League. Matias Grez, CNN, "From dream start to nightmare end, Gareth Bale's Real Madrid career turns sour," 23 July 2019 Energy access: By 2022, every single rural family, except those who are unwilling to take the connection, will have electricity and clean cooking gas facility. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Key takeaways from the first annual budget of Modi 2.0," 4 July 2019 Administrators at Cathedral High School were unwilling to take that risk. Katie Mettler, BostonGlobe.com, "Catholic school fires gay teacher so it can stay in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis," 24 June 2019 Administrators at Cathedral High School were unwilling to take that risk. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Indiana high school fires gay teacher rather than cut church ties," 24 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

20 Aug 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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a wrong name or inappropriate designation

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