Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[uhn-uh-mer-i-kuh n] /ˌʌn əˈmɛr ɪ kən/
not American; not characteristic of or proper to the U.S.; foreign or opposed to the characters, values, standards, goals, etc., of the U.S.
Origin of un-American
An Americanism dating back to 1810-20
Related forms
un-Americanism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for un-American
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Very un-American," remarked the singer, as he ate his crab bisque.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • And if this—Berg—thought him un-American for drinking an imported beverage, what of it?

    Security Poul William Anderson
  • The men were asked if they had heard of any un-American goings-on in the Navy Yard.

    Secret Armies John L. Spivak
  • They denounce those who cling to the doctrine as un-American.


    William Graham Sumner
  • Some of his compatriots hinted that his English life was making him un-American.

    The Arena Various
British Dictionary definitions for un-American


not in accordance with the aims, ideals, customs, etc, of the US
against the interests of the US
Derived Forms
un-Americanism, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for un-American

1818, from un- (1) "not" + American.

Everything is un-American that tends either to government by a plutocracy or government by a mob. [Theodore Roosevelt, 1917]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
un-American in Culture

un-American definition

A term used, primarily by extreme conservatives, to attack principles or practices considered to be at odds with the values of most Americans. Many object to the use of the term on the grounds that it is vague, shortsighted, and intolerant.

Note: The House of Representatives maintained a Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) for several years. It was especially known for investigation of alleged communists. (See Alger Hiss.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for un-american

Word Value for un

Scrabble Words With Friends