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[pit-i-lis, pit-ee-] /ˈpɪt ɪ lɪs, ˈpɪt i-/
feeling or showing no pity; merciless:
pitiless criticism of his last novel.
Origin of pitiless
late Middle English
First recorded in 1375-1425, pitiless is from the late Middle English word piteles. See pity, -less
Related forms
pitilessly, adverb
pitilessness, noun
unmerciful, implacable, relentless.
Synonym Study
See cruel. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pitilessly
Historical Examples
  • She was being dressed for a ball, and the room was pitilessly light.

    The Very Small Person Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • He 'd shoot you down as pitilessly, too, at one distance as at the other.

    Davenport Dunn, Volume 2 (of 2) Charles James Lever
  • He had never heard anything so pitilessly strident in his life.

    Within the Tides Joseph Conrad
  • "And I have my two shots to fire yet," he added, pitilessly.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • Knight smiled as pitilessly as before, and they went on in silence.

    A Pair of Blue Eyes Thomas Hardy
  • "You're a—beauty, that's what you are," he said, pitilessly.

  • And the Winter light searched him pitilessly to find that question somewhere in him.

    Christmas Zona Gale
  • Only her brain seemed on fire, so pitilessly, so horribly alive had it become.

    Virginia Ellen Glasgow
  • Old and young, women and children, were pitilessly butchered.

    The Story of Paris Thomas Okey
  • He had pitilessly resolved not to repeat the folly of the previous month.

    Mademoiselle Olympe Zabriski Thomas Bailey Aldrich
British Dictionary definitions for pitilessly


having or showing little or no pity or mercy
Derived Forms
pitilessly, adverb
pitilessness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pitilessly



early 15c., from pity + -less. Related: Pitilessly; pitilessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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