un·​win·​na·​ble ˌən-ˈwi-nə-bəl How to pronounce unwinnable (audio)
: incapable of being won
an unwinnable struggle
also : impregnable
an unwinnable fortress

Examples of unwinnable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After the deaths of thousands of Russian soldiers and an avalanche of failures since the invasion began Feb. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin has narrowed his objectives in a campaign viewed as unsustainable, unrealistic — and probably unwinnable. Bryan Pietsch, Washington Post, 22 May 2022 Sullivan: The latest Red Sox tailspin shows management was never serious about building a playoff contender The blame lies with a front office that gave Cora an unwinnable hand in a game the Sox had to win. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Sep. 2023 Our win should be a lesson to anyone who writes off some states as not worth fighting for—or deems some issues too tough or complex and thus, unwinnable. Time, 17 Nov. 2022 On paper, the new map made the district unwinnable in 2022, since Donald Trump had carried it by 8 percentage points in 2020. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 9 Feb. 2023 If Murray misses extensive time, Arizona will no doubt find itself in unwinnable scenarios with Colt McCoy trying to compensate for a woefully undermanned defense. Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY, 21 June 2023 Sometimes, fielding a candidate in an unwinnable race is not even about the candidate at all. Rafi Schwartz, The Week, 12 June 2023 Throughout the Cold War, Russia and the United States both knew that a nuclear war was unwinnable—an attack by one would surely produce a cataclysmic riposte by the other. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 3 May 2023 On February 17, amid frenetic but ultimately unsuccessful attempts to prevent Russia from attacking Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron put an end to an unwinnable conflict in a different part of the world. Stephen Smith, Foreign Affairs, 10 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unwinnable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1540, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unwinnable was circa 1540

Dictionary Entries Near unwinnable

Cite this Entry

“Unwinnable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwinnable. Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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