un·​con·​scio·​na·​ble ˌən-ˈkän(t)-sh(ə-)nə-bəl How to pronounce unconscionable (audio)
: shockingly unfair or unjust
unconscionable sales practices
: excessive, unreasonable
found an unconscionable number of defects in the car
: not guided or controlled by conscience : unscrupulous
an unconscionable villain
unconscionableness noun
unconscionably adverb

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When Do You Use unconscionable?

Something that can't be done in good conscience is unconscionable, and such acts can range from betraying a confidence to mass murder. For a five-syllable word, unconscionable is actually quite common. This is partly because it isn't always used very seriously; so, for example, a critic is free to call a fat new book "an unconscionable waste of trees". In law, an unconscionable contract is one that, even though it was signed by both parties, is so ridiculous that a judge will just throw it out.

Examples of unconscionable in a Sentence

They have had to endure unconscionable delays. an unconscionable number of errors for an important government report
Recent Examples on the Web This is how pop stars validate the unconscionable — from selfishness to degeneracy and crime. Armond White, National Review, 15 Nov. 2023 But, again, for the Republicans in Congress to even toy with the fact and hold over our heads there might not be flood insurance or disaster assistance up until the final hour, that's unconscionable. CBS News, 1 Oct. 2023 That many of these employees — primarily women of color — take home puny paychecks, while investors line their pockets, is unconscionable. Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2023 Physicians, mental illness, and the problem with ‘passing’ The often-irreversible damage experienced by physicians and medical students who lose their fertility due to systemic pressures in medicine is unconscionable. Vineet Arora, STAT, 18 Aug. 2023 As the President has said multiple times, the Trump Administration’s family separation policy was abhorrent and unconscionable. Brittany Gaddy, ABC News, 3 Aug. 2023 In the midst of the H.I.V. epidemic, a lengthy drug-approval process seemed unconscionable. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, 19 June 2023 The story today about the Sacklers limiting their civil liability for the opioid crisis, that’s unconscionable. How To Save A Country, The New Republic, 8 June 2023 And now, finally, the government is going to put an end to these unconscionable surcharges. Christopher Elliott, Dallas News, 7 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unconscionable.' 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

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of unconscionable was in 1565

Dictionary Entries Near unconscionable

Cite this Entry

“Unconscionable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unconscionable. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​con·​scio·​na·​ble ˌən-ˈkänch-(ə-)nə-bəl How to pronounce unconscionable (audio)
: not guided or controlled by conscience
an unconscionable villain
: not being in agreement with what is right or just : unreasonable, excessive
unconscionably adverb

Legal Definition


un·​con·​scio·​na·​ble ˌən-ˈkän-chə-nə-bəl How to pronounce unconscionable (audio)
: unreasonably unfair to one party, marked by oppression, or otherwise unacceptably offensive to public policy
an unconscionable clause
finds the contract…to have been unconscionable at the time it was madeUniform Commercial Code
compare conscionable
unconscionably adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on unconscionable

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