[pit-i-lis, pit-ee-]
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Origin of pitiless

First recorded in 1375–1425, pitiless is from the late Middle English word piteles. See pity, -less
Related formspit·i·less·ly, adverbpit·i·less·ness, noun

Synonyms for pitiless

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Synonym study

See cruel.

Antonyms for pitiless

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pitilessly

Historical Examples of pitilessly

  • She was being dressed for a ball, and the room was pitilessly light.

    The Very Small Person

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

  • He 'd shoot you down as pitilessly, too, at one distance as at the other.

  • He had never heard anything so pitilessly strident in his life.

    Within the Tides

    Joseph Conrad

  • "And I have my two shots to fire yet," he added, pitilessly.

    A Set of Six

    Joseph Conrad

  • Knight smiled as pitilessly as before, and they went on in silence.

British Dictionary definitions for pitilessly


  1. having or showing little or no pity or mercy
Derived Formspitilessly, adverbpitilessness, 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

Word Origin and History for pitilessly



early 15c., from pity + -less. Related: Pitilessly; pitilessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper