un·​spar·​ing ˌən-ˈsper-iŋ How to pronounce unsparing (audio)
: not merciful or forbearing : hard, ruthless
an unsparing satire
an unsparing critic
: not frugal : liberal, profuse
unsparing generosity
unsparingly adverb

Example Sentences

neighbors were unsparing in their charity when a local family was rendered homeless by a fire unsparing in his criticism of the welfare state
Recent Examples on the Web It’s an unsparing indictment of how Americans can blithely dismiss so much death when the deceased don’t look like them. Los Angeles Times, 30 Jan. 2023 Dylan had reestablished contact with themes of deep resonance — mortality, the disappointments of love, the hard truths of age and regret — and scrutinized them with a poetic yet unsparing edge. David Weininger, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Jan. 2023 The artist’s unsparing eye, usually positioned well above his models, refused to edit out stray shadows, even those cast by the easel. William Grimes, New York Times, 17 Dec. 2022 The story of how the Dutton family came to Montana, 1883 is an unsparing, even pitiless look at the immigrant experience on the Oregon Trail after the Civil War. Sridhar Pappu, The Atlantic, 10 Nov. 2022 Graphic and unsparing but never exploitative, the film doesn’t flinch from the bodily horrors of a painful and invasive procedure. Dallas News, 26 May 2022 The artist left the collective over disagreements about works that some found to be too unsparing (her alter ego character Bunch, for example, would sometimes pop pimples or masturbate or pick her butt). Vulture, 1 Dec. 2022 But the report sought to deepen that knowledge and tie it all together in an unsparing portrait of institutional failings. Nick Anderson And Susan Svrluga, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Apr. 2022 The scholar and Atlantic contributing writer Perry constructed an unsparing, lyrical guide to motherhood in this dispatch to her Black sons. Taylor Harris, The Atlantic, 2 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of unsparing was circa 1586

Dictionary Entries Near unsparing

Cite this Entry

“Unsparing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsparing. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​spar·​ing ˌən-ˈspa(ə)r-iŋ How to pronounce unsparing (audio)
: not merciful or forgiving : hard, ruthless
unsparing attacks
: not stingy : liberal
unsparing in their gifts to charity
unsparingly adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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