unscathed

[ uhn-skeythd ]
/ ʌnˈskeɪðd /

adjective

not scathed; unharmed; uninjured: She survived the accident unscathed.

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Origin of unscathed

1325–75; Middle English; see un-1, scathed
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does unscathed mean?

Unscathed is an adjective used to describe being “uninjured” or “unharmed,” especially after a trying or dangerous experience.

This word isn’t only used in situations where someone or something has escaped physical injury. It can also be applied to when a person’s reputation, finances, or emotional well-being are unscathed after some major ordeal.

Example: The company was lucky to come out of the economic crisis unscathed, still turning a profit and even hiring new employees.

Where does unscathed come from?

Unscathed is recorded around 1325–75. It’s made up of the prefix un-, meaning “not,” and scathed. Scathed is based on scathe, a verb meaning principally “to criticize harshly” and, in older use, “hurt or harm.” Fun fact: scathe is borrowed from a Scandinavian (Old Norse) word meaning “to hurt.”

Unscathed is a word we tend to see with its negative prefix, like disgruntled or unkempt. That is, we don’t usually described something as scathed to mean “harmed.” The root verb of unscathed, scathe, is most commonly seen in the verbal adjective, scathing, such as a scathing remark, insult, criticism, attack, or the like.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for unscathed?

What are some words that share a root or word element with unscathed?

What are some words that often get used with unscathed?

  • emerge (unscathed)
  • relatively (unscathed)
  • walk away (unscathed)
  • come out (unscathed)

 

How is unscathed used in real life?

Unscathed is a fairly common word—and a great one to add to your everyday vocabulary if it’s new to you.

Unscathed does get used in relation to physical injury or damage, such as when someone escapes unscathed from a natural disaster.

But, unscathed also gets used in many other areas of life, from sports to politics and personal relationships, especially to characterize someone or something as undamaged after a stressful, trying, or dangerous episode.

Try using unscathed!

A political candidate is hosting a town hall to address questions their constituents may have about their community. The discussion gets pretty heated, but the candidate addresses all their questions in the end. Use unscathed in sentence to describe how the candidate came out after the event.

British Dictionary definitions for unscathed

unscathed
/ (ʌnˈskeɪðd) /

adjective

not harmed or injured
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