un·​win·​na·​ble | \ ˌən-ˈwi-nə-bəl How to pronounce unwinnable (audio) \

Definition of unwinnable

: incapable of being won an unwinnable struggle also : impregnable an unwinnable fortress

Examples of unwinnable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The rookie head coach made some questionable decisions during the team’s loss to the 24-19 loss to the Broncos: Nick Chubb not being on the field in crucial situations, an unwinnable coach’s challenge, wasting timeouts. Joey Morona, cleveland, "ESPN analyst calls Browns not getting ball to OBJ on final play ‘a fireable offense’," 4 Nov. 2019 In the second movie based on the TV show, there is a training exercise called the Kobayashi Maru simulation, designed by the examiners to be unwinnable. Washington Post, "Star Trek Shows Fund Managers How to Live Long and Prosper," 6 Feb. 2019 Please email our mayor (rschoder@cityofmartinez.org) and urge him to establish an Independent Redistricting Commission and stop wasting our tax dollars fighting an unwinnable lawsuit. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Alleged gerrymandering in Martinez raises concerns," 12 Sep. 2019 While the department has not explained the change, multiple people familiar with the case have said that the lawyers resigned from the lawsuit out of ethical concerns and a belief that the suit was unwinnable. Michael Wines, New York Times, "Federal Judge Blocks Justice Department’s Effort to Withdraw Lawyers on Census Citizenship Case," 9 July 2019 The risk, however, is that the predictions of economic chaos after a no-deal Brexit are borne out, making an election unwinnable for him (and, if things are bad enough, possibly for the Conservative Party for years to come). Stephen Castle, New York Times, "What’s Next for Brexit? Six Possible Outcomes," 30 Aug. 2019 Doing so changed the nature of the missions, which became hopelessly elongated and unwinnable. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Losing the War in Forgotten Afghanistan," 10 Aug. 2019 Many investors and economists consider trade wars messy affairs at best, if not wholly unwinnable. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "As Markets Dive, Tech Stocks Like Apple and IBM Are Seeing the Biggest Selloffs. Here’s Why," 5 Aug. 2019 In contrast, parties rarely get involved in races for either safe or unwinnable seats. Hans Hassell, Washington Post, "The lesson of the Steny Hoyer controversy: party insiders still matter after all," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unwinnable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of unwinnable

circa 1540, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unwinnable

Statistics for unwinnable

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for unwinnable

The first known use of unwinnable was circa 1540

See more words from the same year

Comments on unwinnable

What made you want to look up unwinnable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speed up the process or progress of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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