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[uhn-fer-giv-ing] /ˌʌn fərˈgɪv ɪŋ/
not disposed to forgive or show mercy; unrelenting.
not allowing for mistakes, carelessness, or weakness:
the unforgiving nature of aviation.
Origin of unforgiving
1705-15; un-1 + forgiving
Related forms
unforgivingness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unforgiving
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Eliza, with her sensitive, unforgiving nature, could not make allowances.

    Mary Wollstonecraft Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • "And I call it proud and unforgiving," said Dorothy, indignantly.

    The Admiral's Caravan Charles E. Carryl
  • The Arabs are so unforgiving and revengeful that they will seek to kill a man year after year.

    Far Off Favell Lee Mortimer
  • Must I think of you living out your life, proud and unforgiving, and wretched to the end?

    The Giant's Robe F. Anstey
  • The warden tilted back in his swivel chair, and gazed at the forgiven, but unforgiving prisoner.

    The Code of the Mountains Charles Neville Buck
British Dictionary definitions for unforgiving


not willing to forgive; unmerciful
(of a machine, system, etc) allowing little or no opportunity for mistakes to be corrected
harsh and unremitting: an unforgiving and desolate landscape
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 unforgiving

1713, from un- (1) "not" + present participle of forgive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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