not willing; reluctant; loath; averse: an unwilling partner in the crime.
opposed; offering resistance; stubborn or obstinate; refractory: an unwilling captive.

Origin of unwilling

before 900; Old English unwillende (not recorded in ME); see un-1, willing
Related formsun·will·ing·ly, adverbun·will·ing·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for unwillingly

obstinately, stubbornly, involuntarily, grudgingly

Examples from the Web for unwillingly

Contemporary Examples of unwillingly

Historical Examples of unwillingly

  • Into His light we advance slowly, unwillingly, driven by our pain; but we advance.

  • Eccles faced him unwillingly, with a stolid front but shifty eyes.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Mr Flintwinch screwed this out of himself, unwillingly and rustily.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Why, I said, do you not see that men are unwillingly deprived of good, and willingly of evil?

  • Unwittingly, unwillingly, Gonzaga saved the situation by that prayer.


    Raphael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for unwillingly



unfavourably inclined; reluctant
performed, given, or said with reluctance
Derived Formsunwillingly, adverbunwillingness, 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 unwillingly



Old English unwillende, from un- (1) "not" + willing. Re-formed 16c. Related: Unwillingly; unwillingness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper