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[uhn-kahynd] /ʌnˈkaɪnd/
adjective, unkinder, unkindest.
lacking in kindness or mercy; severe.
Origin of unkind
Middle English word dating back to 1200-50; See origin at un-1, kind1
Related forms
unkindness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unkindness
Historical Examples
  • Besides, it is probable that in small social circles there is more suffering from unkindness than ill-temper.

    Friends in Council Arthur Helps
  • I have directions in my pocket which agree with everything but your unkindness.

  • He felt great concern at his past life, but for nothing more than his unkindness to Mr. Simpson.

  • There was simply the atmosphere of unkindness, which no discipline can dispel.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • To favor sin is to discourage virtue; undue —— to the bad is unkindness to the good.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms James Champlin Fernald
  • To complain of a brother's unkindness, that, indeed, I might do.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • O I would not have minded so much if it had not been for my unkindness at that last parting!

  • You might think I bad-met with unkindness; but it was not so; it was the other way more than I deserved.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • She had nothing to look back to but indifference or unkindness—nothing to look forward to but anxiety.

    The Reef Edith Wharton
  • I do not fancy you will have much of unkindness to combat, except from the enemy.

    The Bondwoman Marah Ellis Ryan
British Dictionary definitions for unkindness


lacking kindness; unsympathetic or cruel
(archaic or dialect)
  1. (of weather) unpleasant
  2. (of soil) hard to cultivate
Derived Forms
unkindly, adverb
unkindness, 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 unkindness



early 13c. (implied in unkindly), "strange, foreign, unnatural," from un- (1) "not" + kind (adj.). Meaning "lacking in kindness" is recorded from mid-14c. Related: Unkindly; unkindness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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