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

  • adjective Not willing; hesitant or loath.
  • adjective Done, given, or said reluctantly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not willing; loath; disinclined; reluctant: as, an unwilling servant.
  • Undesigned; involuntary.
  • Synonyms Opposed, averse, indisposed, backward.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not willing; loath; disinclined; reluctant.

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

  • adjective Not willing; loath; disinclined; reluctant; as, an unwilling servant.

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

  • adjective not disposed or inclined toward
  • adjective in spite of contrary volition


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • There have I done everything for this young fellow, and he is unwilling, _unwilling_ indeed, to give his mind to the simplest business for six hours a day. '

    The Pillars of the House, V1

  • In The Thorn Birds, Father Ralph is in unwilling thrall to rich Mary Carson, the doyenne of the region, on whom his hopes for a big donation to the Catholic church reside.

    Father Ralph and Humbert Humbert « Tales from the Reading Room

  • Menacing warlords intimidate, the Taliban strikes and the foreigners remain unwilling to risk the necessary relationships they need to develop with Afghans.

    Patricia DeGennaro: Mr. President, Take a Firm Lead in Afghanistan

  • That suggests Japanese consumers will likely remain unwilling to help the economy exit its lull by shopping more, with deflation prompting them to defer purchases as they wait for prices to fall further.

    Japanese Production Falls as Deflation Tightens Grip

  • Axelrod said they remain unwilling to directly attack Palin's experience, simply saying, We respect her, she's a skilled politician as she proved last night ...

    Axelrod on Palin - Swampland -

  • Now it and every other chain unwilling to abandon the New York City market will have to reformulate their menus, and given research costs and economies of scale, the changes are likely to be national, not just regional.

    Fat City

  • It was deemed an honour to have given birth to free communities; it was considered a disadvantage and weakness to hold them in unwilling bonds.

    Sharing the Responsibilities of Empire

  • In spite of his lack of physical prowess, however, he commanded a certain unwilling respect because of his power of "talking book talk."

    Rainbow Valley

  • Teale's wound, it was in all parts of his body, and by a variety of murderous weapons, when the poor man was unconscious of having received any himself, and could scarce obtain credit when he appeared in perfect health: so unwilling is the good-natured world to give up a story that is to the disadvantage of others.

    The Castle of Wolfenbach

  • God was ready to smite them with that curse, to bring utter ruin upon them, to strike home, to strike dead, with the curse; but he will yet once more try them, whether they will repent and return, and so prevent it; and therefore he sends John Baptist to preach repentance to them, that their conversion might prevent their confusion; so unwilling is God that any should perish, so willing to have his anger turned away.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi)


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