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

Examples from the Web for unkinder

Historical Examples of unkinder

  • The most suspicions Republican could hardly have dealt an unkinder thrust.

    Stephen A. Douglas

    Allen Johnson

  • Everything seemed different, unfriendlier, unkinder, now that he was alone and helpless.

    The Burning Secret

    Stefan Zweig

  • The hardest part of my unfortunate case is this, that the unkinder you are to me the more I love you.

    Airy Fairy Lilian

    Margaret Wolfe Hamilton (AKA Duchess)

  • Houses were always being taken in that paradise by wealthy persons from unkinder climates.

    Christopher and Columbus

    Countess Elizabeth Von Arnim

  • The unkinder wits of the neighbourhood had been known to suggest that the first letter of its name was superfluous.

British Dictionary definitions for unkinder


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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper