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[uhn-wil-ing] /ʌnˈwɪl ɪŋ/
not willing; reluctant; loath; averse:
an unwilling partner in the crime.
opposed; offering resistance; stubborn or obstinate; refractory:
an unwilling captive.
Origin of unwilling
before 900; Old English unwillende (not recorded in ME); see un-1, willing
Related forms
unwillingly, adverb
unwillingness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unwillingly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Into His light we advance slowly, unwillingly, driven by our pain; but we advance.

  • Eccles faced him unwillingly, with a stolid front but shifty eyes.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • Mr Flintwinch screwed this out of himself, unwillingly and rustily.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Why, I said, do you not see that men are unwillingly deprived of good, and willingly of evil?

    The Republic Plato
  • Unwittingly, unwillingly, Gonzaga saved the situation by that prayer.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • In him it was the almost physical charm of blind will, and she yielded to it unwillingly.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • unwillingly, he went to keep his appointment with her the next morning.

    David Dunne

    Belle Kanaris Maniates
British Dictionary definitions for unwillingly


unfavourably inclined; reluctant
performed, given, or said with reluctance
Derived Forms
unwillingly, adverb
unwillingness, 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 unwillingly



Old English unwillende, from un- (1) "not" + willing. Re-formed 16c. Related: Unwillingly; unwillingness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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