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[uhn-wahyz] /ʌnˈwaɪz/
adjective, unwiser, unwisest.
not wise; foolish; imprudent; lacking in good sense or judgment:
an unwise choice; an unwise man.
Origin of unwise
before 900; Middle English; Old English unwīs. See un-1, wise1
Related forms
unwisely, adverb
unwiseness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unwise
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is unwise to enter into war or friendship without seeing to the reserves.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • However, I realized that it was unwise to attempt the journey, and I must stay behind.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • It would be unwise, indeed impossible for more than a few steps.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • Fools and unwise are they who choose not beauteous men to be their generals.

    The Symposium Xenophon
  • It is unwise, to say the least, to attempt to cover the social universe in one course.

    College Teaching Paul Klapper
British Dictionary definitions for unwise


lacking wisdom or prudence; foolish
Derived Forms
unwisely, adverb
unwiseness, 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 unwise

Old English unwis, from un- (1) "not" + wise (adj.). Cf. Middle Dutch onwijs, Old High German unwis, German unweise, Old Norse uviss, Gothic unweis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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