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[uhn-ri-lahy-uh-buh l] /ˌʌn rɪˈlaɪ ə bəl/
not reliable; not to be relied or depended on.
Origin of unreliable
1830-40; un-1 + reliable
Related forms
unreliability, unreliableness, noun
unreliably, adverb
undependable, irresponsible, untrustworthy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for unreliable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Indeed, she would admit every symptom of old age save an unreliable memory.

    The Price of Love Arnold Bennett
  • But there is nothing so unreliable as weather, especially Irish weather.

    Lalage's Lovers George A. Birmingham
  • That development is often very disastrous and unreliable, and should not be encouraged.

  • The brass teakettle looked to be good-tempered but unreliable.

  • Stated plainly, my first charge amounts to this: women-journalists are unreliable as a class.

    Journalism for Women E.A. Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for unreliable


not reliable; untrustworthy: an unreliable witness
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 unreliable

1840, from un- (1) "not" + reliable. First recorded in De Quincey, who said it was coined by Coleridge.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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