• synonyms


  1. not disposed to forgive or show mercy; unrelenting.
  2. not allowing for mistakes, carelessness, or weakness: the unforgiving nature of aviation.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for unforgivingness

Historical Examples of unforgivingness

  • Her aunt had left out all that mattered—all the feeling, the hate, the love, the unforgivingness of passionate hearts.

    The Forsyte Saga, Volume III.

    John Galsworthy

British Dictionary definitions for unforgivingness


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



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper