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[uhn-skroo-pyuh-luh s] /ʌnˈskru pyə ləs/
not scrupulous; unrestrained by scruples; conscienceless; unprincipled.
Origin of unscrupulous
First recorded in 1795-1805; un-1 + scrupulous
Related forms
unscrupulously, adverb
unscrupulousness, unscrupulosity
[uhn-skroo-pyuh-los-i-tee] /ʌnˌskru pyəˈlɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
Unscrupulous, unprincipled refer to lack of moral standards or conscience to guide one's conduct. The unscrupulous person is without scruples of conscience, and disregards, or has contempt for, laws of right or justice with which he or she is perfectly well acquainted, and which should restrain his or her actions: unscrupulous in methods of making money, in taking advantage of the unfortunate. The unprincipled person is without moral principles or ethical standards in his or her conduct or actions: an unprincipled rogue; unprincipled conduct. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unscrupulous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now it was another and older man, daring, intelligent, unscrupulous.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • She had wept because she was heroic and unscrupulous and full of love for both her children.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • Some were so unscrupulous as to bring their lunches with them.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • unscrupulous employers often endeavor to control the votes of their employes.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
  • He looked what he was: a bold and unscrupulous leader of his men.

    The Bluff of the Hawk Anthony Gilmore
British Dictionary definitions for unscrupulous


without scruples; unprincipled
Derived Forms
unscrupulously, adverb
unscrupulousness, unscrupulosity (ʌnˌskruːpjʊˈlɒsɪtɪ) 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 unscrupulous

1803, from un- (1) "not" + scrupulous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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