9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uhn-urnd] /ʌnˈɜrnd/
not received in exchange for labor or services; not gained by lawful work or employment.
not earned; unmerited; undeserved:
unearned promotion.
not yet earned:
Lenders are not permitted to take borrowers' unearned wages as collateral.
Origin of unearned
1150-1200; Middle English; see un-1, earn1, -ed2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unearned
  • Many things in life are unearned and that's no good.
  • Boomers could forswear all or part of this unearned inheritance.
  • Because some would say it's unearned, or presumptuous, or the consequence of his privilege.
  • But, for all its razzmatazz, the play's final moment of celebration is unearned.
  • The capuchins were willing to forfeit cheap food simply to express their displeasure at their partners' unearned riches.
  • And the emotional rewards at the end don't feel unearned.
  • His career progressed in prodigious and unearned leaps.
  • Such condescension may not warrant the label hubris, but it partakes of an unearned sense of superiority.
  • This-combined with an economy over-regulated by lawyers who go on to politics-results in an unearned premium on legal wages.
  • It could go a bit quicker if the government first made room by spending less on unearned sinecures and misdirected subsidies.
British Dictionary definitions for unearned


not deserved
not yet earned
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 unearned

c.1200, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of earn. Unearned income is recorded from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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