un·​writ·​ten | \ ˌən-ˈri-tᵊn How to pronounce unwritten (audio) \

Definition of unwritten

1 : not expressed in writing : oral, traditional an unwritten rule
2 : containing no writing : blank

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Synonyms & Antonyms for unwritten


nuncupative, oral, spoken, verbal, viva voce, word-of-mouth


paper, written

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Examples of unwritten in a Sentence

They had an unwritten agreement. an unwritten contract may not be enforceable

Recent Examples on the Web

But when the unwritten rules come into play, baseball can get extremely complicated. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "From bat flips to bunts, baseball's 'unwritten rules' can be a challenge to navigate," 6 July 2019 But for years, one group of contestants has boldly and blatantly ignored this unwritten rule: The villains. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, "A brief history of Bachelor and Bachelorette villains eating on camera," 2 July 2019 Every company is strongly predisposed to deliver an employee experience based on deeply-entrenched legacy systems, culture, and unwritten rules. Richard Lobo, Quartz India, "Infosys HR chief on the three things Indian offices can do to prepare for millennial workers," 26 June 2019 Since the dawn of the Valencia filter, these were the unwritten rules influencers lived by in their mission to procure those ever-elusive followers. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Your Instagram Needs a Makeunder in 2019," 12 June 2019 But in recent months, some unwritten rules—the avoidance of surprises, co-ordination of positions before big decisions, the need to keep disputes private—have been swept aside by a burst of Gallic vigor. David Meyer, Fortune, "Mark Zuckerberg's Privacy Practices: CEO Daily," 13 June 2019 Baseball is full of unwritten rules, most of them dumb. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: Is baseball such a boring game the Rockies and Cubs have to start a rock fight to prove their manhood?," 12 June 2019 This exploration of stupidity takes us from Dunkin' Donuts Park, through the complicated pages of an unwritten rule book and into the national headlines. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Different levels of stupidity on display as Yard Goats have no-hit bid ended with ninth-inning bunt," 9 June 2019 Minor league outfielder Matt Lipka received death threats for breaking one of baseball's unwritten rules. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Yankees’ minor leaguer receives death threats after his bunt breaks up no-hitter," 7 June 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for unwritten

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unwritten

The first known use of unwritten was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for unwritten



English Language Learners Definition of unwritten

: spoken or understood without being written


un·​writ·​ten | \ ˌən-ˈri-tᵊn How to pronounce unwritten (audio) \

Kids Definition of unwritten

: not in writing : followed by custom unwritten law

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Comments on unwritten

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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