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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
  • How often is distress, similar to this, aggravated by unkindness!

  • To complain of a brother's unkindness, that, indeed, I might do.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Had their unkindness then really driven her to seek for peace in solitude?

  • 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
  • But the windows remained closed, and she was wounded by this as by an unkindness to herself.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • Or is it unkindness to let him see that I mislike his capers?

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
  • Palla did not evade the question: “From the unkindness of life,” she said.

    The Crimson Tide Robert W. Chambers
  • I do not fancy you will have much of unkindness to combat, except from the enemy.

    The Bondwoman Marah Ellis Ryan
  • unkindness, ingratitude, and every wickedness, are in the scene before you.

    The Indian Fairy Book Cornelius Mathews
  • "Do not let us speak about unkindness, or anything else," says the young man, impatiently.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
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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