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See more synonyms for unkind on Thesaurus.com
adjective, un·kind·er, un·kind·est.
  1. lacking in kindness or mercy; severe.
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Origin of unkind

Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at un-1, kind1
Related formsun·kind·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for unkind

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • If you think that, ma'am, it's very cruel and unkind of you to send me away.

  • She did not wish to be unkind, but her one absorbing idea at this moment was of solitude.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • It would be so unkind if she did not answer immediately: she must answer.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • He thinks, though he has all honour for my mother, that she is unkind to us both.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • I take it unkind of you that you have not so much as dipped ensign to me on leaving.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for unkind


  1. lacking kindness; unsympathetic or cruel
  2. archaic, or dialect
    1. (of weather) unpleasant
    2. (of soil) hard to cultivate
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Derived Formsunkindly, adverbunkindness, 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 unkind


early 13c. (implied in unkindly), "strange, foreign, unnatural," from un- (1) "not" + kind (adj.). Meaning "lacking in kindness" is recorded from mid-14c. Related: Unkindly; unkindness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper