- not employed; without a job; out of work: an unemployed secretary.
- not currently in use: unemployed productive capacity.
- not productively used: unemployed capital.
- (used with a plural verb) people who do not have jobs (usually preceded by the): programs to help the unemployed.
Origin of unemployed
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for unemployed
Around half the Baluch in the province are unemployed, a result, say rights groups, of longstanding marginalization by Tehran.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan
December 29, 2014
A new WPA would have helped create jobs and provided some training to underemployed or unemployed youth.Time to Bring Back the Truman Democrats
December 21, 2014
The unemployed have a right to be anxious about the ravages on their families exacted by their unemployment.Ebola, ISIS, the Border: So Much to Fear, So Little Time!
November 2, 2014
Since the spill, the number of unemployed residents in Louisiana and Alabama has only increased.Deepwater Horizon: Life Drowning in Oil
November 2, 2014
A few held signs addressed to George, asking him to “adopt an unemployed worker.”An Affair to Remember for George and Amal
Barbie Latza Nadeau
September 29, 2014
It is those who are unemployed to whom expectation becomes an agony.Wilfrid Cumbermede
How to put the unemployed millions to work is the problem of the day.
His idleness, Emma; surely, you don't mean that; he's seldom if ever unemployed.The Settlers in Canada
It is that unemployed force in our hearts which is striving for union with others.The Choice of Life
Her son had not this gift; or, if he had, he left it unemployed.Olive
Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)
- without remunerative employment; out of work
- (as collective noun; preceded by the)the unemployed
- not being used; idle
Word Origin and History for unemployed
1600, "at leisure, not occupied," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of employ. Meaning "temporarily out of work" is from 1660s. The noun meaning "unemployed persons collectively" is from 1782; unemployment first recorded 1888.
[Say the] voices of the unemployed ...
No man has hired us
With pocketed hands
And lowered faces
We stand about in open places
And shiver in unlit rooms ...
[T.S. Eliot, "Choruses from the Rock"]