1. not disposed to forgive or show mercy; unrelenting.
  2. 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. 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.

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
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper