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Origin of relentless

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

Synonyms for relentless

See more synonyms for on

Antonyms for relentless Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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


  1. (of an enemy, hostile attitude, etc) implacable; inflexible; inexorable
  2. (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