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unchartered

[ uhn-chahr-terd ]
/ ʌnˈtʃɑr tərd /
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adjective
without a charter.
without regulation; lawless.
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Origin of unchartered

First recorded in 1795–1805; un-1 + charter + -ed2

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH unchartered

uncharted, unchartered
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

UNCHARTERED VS. UNCHARTED

What’s the difference between unchartered and uncharted?

Unchartered means not having (or not done under) a charter or some other kind of official authorization, as in an unchartered flight. It’s sometimes used to mean unauthorized or lawless, as in unchartered activity. Uncharted means unexplored or unmapped, as in uncharted territory or uncharted waters.

The chart in uncharted refers to a map, but charted is not commonly used as an adjective—most people would say mapped. In contrast, both unchartered and chartered (meaning having a charter or officially authorized) are used.

The two words are often used in much different contexts, but there are some cases where both could apply. For example, a remote parcel of land may be both uncharted (unmapped) and unchartered (not bound by any official charters or laws).

Here’s an example of unchartered and uncharted used correctly in a sentence.

Example: The movie is an adventure about a group of teens who take a secret, unchartered flight to explore an uncharted island. 

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between unchartered and uncharted.

Quiz yourself on unchartered vs. uncharted!

Should unchartered or uncharted be used in the following sentence?

This is _____ territory—it can’t be found on any map.

How to use unchartered in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for unchartered

unchartered
/ (ʌnˈtʃɑːtəd) /

adjective
not authorized by charter; unregulated
unauthorized, lawless, or irregular

usage for unchartered

Care should be taken not to use unchartered where uncharted is meant: uncharted (not unchartered) territory
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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