Dictionary.com

unless

[ uhn-les, uhn- ]
/ ʌnˈlɛs, ən- /
Save This Word!

conjunction
except under the circumstances that: I'll be there at nine, unless the train is late.
preposition
except; but; save: Nothing will come of it, unless disaster.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of unless

1400–50; late ME prepositional phrase on less (also o less(e), earlier upon less) on a lesser footing or condition (than); first used as a preposition and conjunction in the early 16th century; see on, less
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use unless in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for unless

unless
/ (ʌnˈlɛs) /

conjunction
(subordinating) except under the circumstances that; except on the condition thatthey'll sell it unless he hears otherwise
preposition
rare except

Word Origin for unless

C14: onlesse, from on on + lesse less; compare French à moins que, literally: at less than
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
FEEDBACK