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[uhn-mur-si-fuh l] /ʌnˈmɜr sɪ fəl/
merciless; relentless; severe; cruel; pitiless.
unsparingly great, extreme, or excessive, as amounts:
to talk for an unmerciful length of time.
Origin of unmerciful
First recorded in 1475-85; un-1 + merciful
Related forms
unmercifully, adverb
unmercifulness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unmercifully
Historical Examples
  • And once a police officer gets suspicious, he can hound you unmercifully.

    Twelve Times Zero Howard Carleton Browne
  • It was received with great applause, and I was unmercifully chaffed.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • His friends at first rallied him unmercifully, then lost patience, and finally fell from him, one by one.

    Prisoners Mary Cholmondeley
  • They were swarming all over us, and how unmercifully they did guy us!

    War from the Inside Frederick L. (Frederick Lyman) Hitchcock
  • The youth was unmercifully flogged, and in the same night died, the first martyr in this tragedy.

  • It was no easy task, the full pails tugging most unmercifully at his arms.

    Paul Prescott's Charge Horatio Alger
  • He did not confine this to his home—where he beat his children and servants most unmercifully—but aired it on the bench as well.

    Superwomen Albert Payson Terhune
  • They then stripped him naked, bound him with cords, and beat him most unmercifully with cudgels.

  • One of the chief reasons of this scarcity is the constant seizure of the cattle by the Government troops, carried on unmercifully.

    Industrial Cuba Robert P. Porter
  • He teased Red unmercifully and it was one time when Red was flustered.

British Dictionary definitions for unmercifully


showing no mercy; relentless
extreme or excessive
Derived Forms
unmercifully, adverb
unmercifulness, 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 unmercifully



late 15c., from un- (1) "not" + merciful. Related: Unmercifully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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