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[mur-si-lis] /ˈmɜr sɪ lɪs/
without mercy; having or showing no mercy; pitiless; cruel:
a merciless critic.
Origin of merciless
1300-50; Middle English mercyles. See mercy, -less
Related forms
mercilessly, adverb
mercilessness, noun
hard, relentless, unrelenting, fell, unsympathetic, inexorable.
compassionate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for merciless
  • Indignant locals can be merciless as the foreigner is objectified, therefore allowing any injustice no matter how outrageous.
  • Dance you will, swept along by the fierce and merciless hand of the machine hammer.
  • As a teacher, he was used to waiting for students who are unfamiliar with the merciless rocking and jostling of sailboats.
  • The other kids were merciless and treated both my friend and me horribly.
  • Science is merciless when it comes to testing all theories over and over, at any time, in any place.
  • Their swift, merciless victory opens a new era for the pride.
  • There was the merciless sight of bodies helplessly tumbling out, some of them in flames.
  • Fox appears briefly in a few short scenes as a merciless power-company executive.
  • Everyone in this detailed story is caught up in a merciless destiny.
  • And with merciless shrewdness she watched the unsatisfactory behavior of the grown-ups.
British Dictionary definitions for merciless


without mercy; pitiless, cruel, or heartless
Derived Forms
mercilessly, adverb
mercilessness, 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
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Word Origin and History for merciless

late 14c., see mercy + -less. Related: Mercilessly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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