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 Kaycee Sogard, the wife of Cubs infielder Eric Sogard, took to social media recently to criticize the incentives as pressuring players unwilling to get a vaccine. James Wagner, New York Times, "M.L.B. Pushes Incentives to Encourage Players to Get Vaccine," 12 Apr. 2021 The extreme Boomer gloating makes for fun rhymes all around, but the sketch neglects to touch on the fact that there’s a large contingent of this population that are simply unwilling to take any vaccine. Matthew Love, Vulture, "Saturday Night Live Recap: Maya Rudolph Channels Spring and Beyoncé’s Wet Head," 28 Mar. 2021 For those Russians who remain unwilling to take Sputnik V, the top reason (at 37%) was fear of side effects, while the second most prevalent (at 30%) was a perception that the vaccine had not yet been fully tested. David Meyer, Fortune, "Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is winning over Eastern Europe—but most Russians don’t want it," 2 Mar. 2021 In Congress, where many have watched and reeled as the president spent four years breaking norms and testing the nation's guardrails of democracy, Democrats are unwilling to take further chances. Lisa Mascaro, Star Tribune, "Dems' momentum builds to impeach Trump, Pelosi hits rioters," 9 Jan. 2021 Furthermore, local school districts are often either unwilling to take on this issue or view it as less important than others facing public schools across the country. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Maine remains only state to fully ban Native American mascots. Why haven't others followed?," 30 Dec. 2020 As the vaccine moves beyond the initial priority groups, another worry is that many people will be unwilling to take it. Emily Baumgaertner, Los Angeles Times, "‘I feel like healing is coming’: Coronavirus vaccinations begin in historic U.S. campaign," 14 Dec. 2020 Hill eventually did get the masks but says potential customers need to be aware the company was difficult to reach and seemed unwilling for weeks to help her. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Some scammers hide behind sites selling face masks," 1 Sep. 2020 Some in the movement say corporations and government leaders have been unwilling to take the necessary steps, such as revamping the reimbursement system for Medicare and Medicaid or slashing paychecks for executives. Washington Post, "Nontraditional nursing homes have almost no coronavirus cases. Why aren’t they more widespread?," 20 Aug. 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

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unwilling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwilling. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on unwilling

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