Share this entry

Share this page

unwilling

Line breaks: un|will¦ing
Pronunciation: /ʌnˈwɪlɪŋ
 
/

Definition of unwilling in English:

adjective

[often with infinitive]
Not ready, eager, or prepared to do something: he was unwilling to take on that responsibility unwilling conscripts
More example sentences
  • She cast herself as cautious, well prepared and unwilling to compromise her safety.
  • Funny how the group seemed unwilling to take questions on a press release they had prepared.
  • It has signaled that it is essentially unwilling to grant its demands and is prepared for a long struggle.
Synonyms
reluctant, unenthusiastic, hesitant, afraid, resistant, grudging, involuntary, forced, enforced
disinclined, reluctant, averse, loath, indisposed, not in the mood, slow, not about;
(be unwilling to do something)not have the heart to, baulk at, jib at, demur at, shy away from, flinch from, recoil from, shrink from, mind, have qualms about, have scruples about, have misgivings about, have reservations about, stick at, think twice about, waver about, vacillate about, drag one's feet/heels over, can't be bothered doing something
informal be cagey about, boggle at
archaic sweer, disrelish something

Origin

Old English unwillende (see un-1, willing).

Derivatives

unwillingly

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • If you've ever worked in London for any length of time, then ended up unwillingly working elsewhere, you might understand my excitement.
  • Some voters came willingly, some unwillingly; a major chunk kept away because of a boycott call by separatists.
  • Around the next bend we slid unwillingly into another tunnel - long, and black as blindness.

Definition of unwilling in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing