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 unwilling (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 Those are some of the prizes dangled by top brass at the Los Angeles Fire Department seeking to entice an unexpected group: firefighters unwilling to get the shots. Ben Welsh Data And Graphics Editor, Los Angeles Times, "Free Airbnb with your COVID-19 vaccine? Firefighters offered prizes along with priority access," 5 Jan. 2021 Even now, when the election put the same spotlight on Facebook four years later, Zuckerberg proved unwilling to risk any fraction of his company's growth and dominance to curb the flow of false information. Wired Staff, Wired, "The Most Dangerous People on the Internet in 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 People voted in record numbers, unwilling to let the pandemic stifle their voices. Rex Huppke, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Looking back on 2020: A pants-less year of isolation and fervent hand-washing," 30 Dec. 2020 Locals have been reluctant to distance themselves from family members, slow to admit they are weakened with infection, and — in seven out of 10 cases — unwilling to get a vaccine. Washington Post, "Isolated residents and an overwhelmed hospital: Covid-19 hits Western Maryland," 28 Dec. 2020 Fennell holds the camera on Al and Cassie, her gaze unrelenting and unwilling to give the audience any relief. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "The Director Of Promising Young Woman Breaks Down That Devastating Twist," 25 Dec. 2020 Some jurisdictions, unwilling to wait for the health boards to act, passed their own mandates, replicating within the state the same policy patchwork at play nationwide. Michael Ames, The New Yorker, "How Ammon Bundy Helped Foment an Anti-Masker Rebellion in Idaho," 21 Dec. 2020 The survey, accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that 70% of those unwilling to get the vaccine were concerned about side effects. Sarah Toy, WSJ, "Nursing Homes Grapple With Staff Hesitant to Get the Covid-19 Vaccine," 20 Dec. 2020 Compounding shortages in homes for sale is a growing population, owners unwilling to sell during the coronavirus pandemic and September wildfires that destroyed more than 4,000 Oregon dwellings. oregonlive, "Portland homes for sale dip to lowest level ever as prices spike in bidding wars: ‘Cash is king’," 16 Dec. 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

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unwilling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwilling. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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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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