from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Not availing; ineffectual or useless: synonym: futile.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not availing or having the effect desired; ineffectual; useless; vain: as, unavailing efforts; unavailing prayers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective useless, fruitless, futile

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective producing no result or effect


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • He was not, however, a man to waste, in unavailing regrets, hours that might be more advantageously employed to repair the evil, and he therefore at once set about the arrangement of measures for inducing and enabling the banks to resume at the earliest possible moment.

    Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910 Maud Howe Elliott 1915

  • But no time must now be lost in unavailing lamentation.

    The Scottish Chiefs 1875

  • Before the earl could make a remark, Murray had disappeared; and after exploring the lower part of the tower in unavailing search for a way, he met Sir Roger Kirkpatrick issuing from a small door, which, being in shadow, he had hitherto overlooked.

    The Scottish Chiefs 1875

  • Finding all attempts to obtain better terms unavailing, Lord Cornwallis submitted to a necessity no longer to be avoided, and, on the 19th of October, surrendered the posts of

    The Life of George Washington, Vol. 3 (of 5) Commander in Chief of the American Forces During the War which Established the Independence of his Country and First President of the United States John Marshall 1795

  • Kaplan also rejected Ghailani's claim that his intelligence value dissipated over time, calling his argument "unavailing":

    The enduring appeal of trying terrorists before military commissions Marc Thiessen 2010

  • Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, finding arguments that the firm as escrow agent had a duty to investigate and disclose the frauds to the Osters were "unavailing" and "illogical." - Newswire 2010

  • Ellis said that Blackwater's argument that it cannot be sued under the ATS is "unavailing," adding that corporations and individuals can both be held responsible for crimes and torts. - Bush-Cheney Trials in '09 2009

  • “The further pursuit of these miserable beings, by a large military force,” he apprised Congress, “seems to be as injudicious as it is unavailing.”

    Between War and Peace Col. Matthew Moten 2011

  • Amidst all the gloom of neglect and difficulty that was hastening him rapidly to decay, his gratitude, a distinguished characteristic, was frequently awakened by the knowledge that some kind natures felt for his situation, though their efforts to diminish his anxieties were unavailing.

    Introduction: Tim Fulford 2009

  • And I didn't know, never dreamed -- I, who had lived with John Barleycorn for so many years and laughed at all his unavailing attempts to win me.

    Chapter 29 2010


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