See more synonyms for unready on Thesaurus.com
  1. not ready; not made ready: The new stadium is as yet unready for use.
  2. not in a state of readiness; unprepared: emotionally unready for success.
  3. lacking in presence of mind, as when a quick decision or a sharp answer is required: Awkward situations often found him unready.
  4. British Dialect. not dressed.
  5. not prompt or quick.

Origin of unready

First recorded in 1250–1300, unready is from the Middle English word unredy. See un-1, ready
Related formsun·read·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unready

Historical Examples of unready

  • Better let them think him unready; then perhaps they would let him get the lead.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • He is as unready in the thought needed for these as he is in the use of his senses.

    The Children

    Alice Meynell

  • It was unready for war, but war was the only solvent of intolerable troubles.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte

    William Milligan Sloane

  • “I reckon they should be unready to confess the same,” saith she.

    Joyce Morrell's Harvest

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • Probably he found her coy, unready to acknowledge his demands on her attention.

    Robert Falconer

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for unready


  1. not ready or prepared
  2. slow or hesitant to see or act
  3. archaic not dressed
Derived Formsunreadily, adverbunreadiness, 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 unready

mid-14c., "not prepared," from un- (1) "not" + ready. In English history, applied to Anglo-Saxon King Æðelræd II (968-1016), where it preserves the fuller original sense of Old English ungeræd "ill-advised, rede-less, no-counsel" and plays on the king's name (which means "good-counsel"). The epithet is attested from early 13c. Old English ræda "advise, counsel" is related to read (v.). Rede "counsel" survived in poetic usage to 17c. An attempted revival by Scott (19c.) failed, though it is used in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper