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[uhn-red-ee] /ʌnˈrɛd i/
not ready; not made ready:
The new stadium is as yet unready for use.
not in a state of readiness; unprepared:
emotionally unready for success.
lacking in presence of mind, as when a quick decision or a sharp answer is required:
Awkward situations often found him unready.
British Dialect. not dressed.
not prompt or quick.
Origin of unready
1250-1300; Middle English unredy. See un-1, ready
Related forms
unreadiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unready
Historical Examples
  • The Devons were making ready for it, and how unready a man might feel at such a moment!

  • “I reckon they should be unready to confess the same,” saith she.

    Joyce Morrell's Harvest Emily Sarah Holt
  • The very fear of doing amiss, disturbeth some unready men, and maketh them do all the rest the worse.

    A Christian Directory Baxter Richard
  • Probably he found her coy, unready to acknowledge his demands on her attention.

    Robert Falconer George MacDonald
  • We have a writ from thelred the unready, and a remarkable writ it is.

    Domesday Book and Beyond Frederic William Maitland
  • She is so unready; poor thing—unless her sufferings will stand instead.

    Missy Miriam Coles Harris
  • In the street the men were all lined up at attention; he alone was unready.

  • The unready are fertile in excuses, and his were inexhaustible.

    Byron Richard Edgcumbe
  • Better let them think him unready; then perhaps they would let him get the lead.

    When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt
  • I felt very doltish and unready as I followed him to the drawing-room.

    The Yeoman Adventurer George W. Gough
British Dictionary definitions for unready


not ready or prepared
slow or hesitant to see or act
(archaic) not dressed
Derived Forms
unreadily, adverb
unreadiness, 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 unready

mid-14c., "not prepared," from un- (1) "not" + ready. In English history, applied to Anglo-Saxon King Æðelræd II (968-1016), where it preserves the fuller original sense of Old English ungeræd "ill-advised, rede-less, no-counsel" and plays on the king's name (which means "good-counsel"). The epithet is attested from early 13c. Old English ræda "advise, counsel" is related to read (v.). Rede "counsel" survived in poetic usage to 17c. An attempted revival by Scott (19c.) failed, though it is used in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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