that does not relent; unyieldingly severe, strict, or harsh; unrelenting: a relentless enemy.

Origin of relentless

First recorded in 1585–95; relent + -less
Related formsre·lent·less·ly, adverbre·lent·less·ness, noun

Synonyms for relentless

Antonyms for relentless Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for relentlessness

Contemporary Examples of relentlessness

Historical Examples of relentlessness

  • She had softened perhaps from her yesterday's relentlessness.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • How could he stand there so like a machine in his relentlessness?

    Brand Blotters

    William MacLeod Raine

  • She felt oppressed by the hardness, the 136 relentlessness, of his words, his manner.

  • Mr. Reade traces their history with all the relentlessness of the genealogist.

    Immortal Memories

    Clement Shorter

  • And this one, though not so powerful, frightened me the more in his relentlessness.

    The Crossing

    Winston Churchill

British Dictionary definitions for relentlessness



(of an enemy, hostile attitude, etc) implacable; inflexible; inexorable
(of pace or intensity) sustained; unremitting
Derived Formsrelentlessly, adverbrelentlessness, 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 relentlessness



1590s, from relent + -less. Related: Relentlessly; relentlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper