[uhn-mur-si-fuh l]


merciless; relentless; severe; cruel; pitiless.
unsparingly great, extreme, or excessive, as amounts: to talk for an unmerciful length of time.

Origin of unmerciful

First recorded in 1475–85; un-1 + merciful
Related formsun·mer·ci·ful·ly, adverbun·mer·ci·ful·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unmerciful

Historical Examples of unmerciful

  • Still they repeated their unmerciful blows with all their energy.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare

    Alexander Scott Withers

  • You're an unmerciful sinner when you get started, ain't you, Is?

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Note the lesson of the parable of the Unmerciful Servant, Matt.

    Jesus the Christ

    James Edward Talmage

  • He tied her to a tree and beat her unmerciful and cut her tender parts.

  • How unmerciful we were, and—how easily our lovers consoled themselves!

    The Home

    Fredrika Bremer

British Dictionary definitions for unmerciful



showing no mercy; relentless
extreme or excessive
Derived Formsunmercifully, adverbunmercifulness, 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 unmerciful

late 15c., from un- (1) "not" + merciful. Related: Unmercifully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper