Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[uhn-red-ee] /ʌnˈrɛd i/
not ready; not made ready:
The new stadium is as yet unready for use.
not in a state of readiness; unprepared:
emotionally unready for success.
lacking in presence of mind, as when a quick decision or a sharp answer is required:
Awkward situations often found him unready.
British Dialect. not dressed.
not prompt or quick.
Origin of unready
First recorded in 1250-1300, unready is from the Middle English word unredy. See un-1, ready
Related forms
unreadiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for unready
Historical Examples
  • Better let them think him unready; then perhaps they would let him get the lead.

    When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt
  • He is as unready in the thought needed for these as he is in the use of his senses.

    The Children Alice Meynell
  • It was unready for war, but war was the only solvent of intolerable troubles.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • “I reckon they should be unready to confess the same,” saith she.

    Joyce Morrell's Harvest Emily Sarah Holt
  • Probably he found her coy, unready to acknowledge his demands on her attention.

    Robert Falconer George MacDonald
  • It was said that America was unready, and so it was—in a way.

    With the Doughboy in France

    Edward Hungerford
  • She is so unready; poor thing—unless her sufferings will stand instead.

    Missy Miriam Coles Harris
  • Quick as a flash, and all unready, he was submerged in the water beneath.

  • He had said it before he remembered how unready he must perforce be with details.

    It Never Can Happen Again

    William De Morgan
  • We have a writ from thelred the unready, and a remarkable writ it is.

    Domesday Book and Beyond

    Frederic William Maitland
British Dictionary definitions for unready


not ready or prepared
slow or hesitant to see or act
(archaic) not dressed
Derived Forms
unreadily, adverb
unreadiness, 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 unready

mid-14c., "not prepared," from un- (1) "not" + ready. In English history, applied to Anglo-Saxon King Æðelræd II (968-1016), where it preserves the fuller original sense of Old English ungeræd "ill-advised, rede-less, no-counsel" and plays on the king's name (which means "good-counsel"). The epithet is attested from early 13c. Old English ræda "advise, counsel" is related to read (v.). Rede "counsel" survived in poetic usage to 17c. An attempted revival by Scott (19c.) failed, though it is used in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for unready

Word Value for unready

Scrabble Words With Friends