un·​wise | \ˌən-ˈwīz \

Definition of unwise 

: lacking wisdom or good sense : foolish, imprudent

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Other Words from unwise

unwisely adverb

Examples of unwise in a Sentence

It would be unwise to buy a house now. made the unwise decision to invest in a brand-new company

Recent Examples on the Web

To try to unring that bell would be unwise and inappropriate, albeit easy and popular. Dawn Rhodes, chicagotribune.com, "Northwestern revokes honorary degree given to Bill Cosby," 18 June 2018 Republicans reacted harshly to Trump's statements about his power to pardon himself, warning that such a move would be unwise and an abuse of power. Anchorage Daily News, "Paul Ryan says no proof FBI spied on Trump campaign," 6 June 2018 However, issuing Russia probe pardons at this point would be a very unwise move on Trump’s part, as his former associates would be unable to plead the Fifth Amendment if called to testify against him. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Why Trump Isn’t Pardoning Allies Caught in the Mueller Probe – Yet," 1 June 2018 But, barring more revelations, stripping the company of its license seems like an unwise move to me. Adrian Walker, BostonGlobe.com, "Everett shouldn’t have to pay for Steve Wynn’s misdeeds," 15 Apr. 2018 Putting guests in charge of of the free-floating Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes seems unwise, especially when sharing the waterway with large ships. Scott Craven, USA TODAY, "5 under-the-radar things you've (probably) never done at Disneyland, but should," 25 May 2018 Putting guests in charge of of the free-floating Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes seems unwise, especially when sharing the waterway with large ships. Scott Craven, azcentral, "5 things you've (probably) never done at Disneyland, but should," 24 May 2018 Altuve pulled up at second base, noticed Lucroy's lackadaisical nature, and sprinted for third base — unwise aggression for a team which prides itself upon such pressure-producing plays. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros held scoreless in loss to A's," 10 July 2018 There are decent arguments, rooted in stare decisis, on why a Roberts court would be unwise to overturn Roe—or at least refrain from doing it all at once. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Abortion, Roe—and Trump," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unwise.' 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 unwise

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unwise

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for unwise

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

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More Definitions for unwise



English Language Learners Definition of unwise

: not intelligent or wise


un·​wise | \ˌən-ˈwīz \

Kids Definition of unwise

: foolish an unwise decision

Other Words from unwise

unwisely adverb

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Comments on unwise

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


by force of circumstances

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