[ uhn-fer-giv-ing ]
/ ˌʌn fərˈgɪv ɪŋ /


not disposed to forgive or show mercy; unrelenting.
not allowing for mistakes, carelessness, or weakness: the unforgiving nature of aviation.

Origin of unforgiving

First recorded in 1705–15; un-1 + forgiving
Related formsun·for·giv·ing·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unforgiving

British Dictionary definitions for unforgiving


/ (ˌʌnfəˈɡɪvɪŋ) /


not willing to forgive; unmerciful
(of a machine, system, etc) allowing little or no opportunity for mistakes to be corrected
harsh and unremittingan unforgiving and desolate landscape
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 unforgiving



1713, from un- (1) "not" + present participle of forgive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper