unwilling

adjective
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

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 Thirty-three years later, Orbán and his allies depict Soros as a dangerous puppetmaster behind Western plans to force migrants on unwilling countries. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 4 Aug. 2022 On Tuesday, Manchin seemed unwilling to consider tweaks to his plan. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 3 Aug. 2022 This shift is essential, as enterprises are often perceived as rigid and unwilling to disrupt themselves, risking relying only on experiential strengths, which can prove to be weaknesses. Deepak Gupta, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 With some job applicants unwilling to make the move, the region’s school district now has 26 job openings, some that have gone unfilled for months. New York Times, 31 July 2022 But this book is an adventure for all, even those unwilling to risk death on two wheels. Elaine Sciolino, Washington Post, 29 July 2022 Lawmakers, however, have proven largely unwilling to provide the Biden administration with new funds to bolster its Covid-19 response. Lev Facher, STAT, 28 July 2022 The irony is thick — considering Moore once catapulted himself to fame by capitalizing on images of unwilling people — and easy to smirk at. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 July 2022 The committee is still collecting evidence—including by enforcing subpoenas served on unwilling witnesses, such as Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon, who on Friday was convicted of contempt of Congress. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, 24 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of unwilling

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About unwilling

Time Traveler for unwilling

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near unwilling

unwilled

unwilling

unwilted

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for unwilling

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unwilling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwilling. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for unwilling

unwilling

adjective
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

More from Merriam-Webster on unwilling

Nglish: Translation of unwilling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unwilling for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!