9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uhn-wil-ing] /ʌnˈwɪl ɪŋ/
not willing; reluctant; loath; averse:
an unwilling partner in the crime.
opposed; offering resistance; stubborn or obstinate; refractory:
an unwilling captive.
Origin of unwilling
before 900; Old English unwillende (not recorded in ME); see un-1, willing
Related forms
unwillingly, adverb
unwillingness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unwilling
  • Librarians often are unwilling to admit that such crimes could occur within their sanctuaries.
  • By eating mosquitoes, the spider avoids the risk of being squashed by an unwilling blood donor.
  • Yet many stay on, unable or unwilling to return to their cruel homeland.
  • We have to be able to draw some sort of a personal line that we're unwilling to cross.
  • The cold stiffened our fingers, making them unwilling to grasp and haul on icy ropes.
  • In drug cases, in particular, prospective jurors seem increasingly unwilling to trust the testimony of the police.
  • Farmers had been forced out of the business and were unwilling to talk.
  • Amateurs are building affordable electrics, while huge corporations seem unwilling or unable to do so.
  • Others are unwilling to wait for the gasoline processor.
  • There are a lot of potential downsides to trees if you are unwilling to manage them.
British Dictionary definitions for unwilling


unfavourably inclined; reluctant
performed, given, or said with reluctance
Derived Forms
unwillingly, adverb
unwillingness, 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 unwilling

Old English unwillende, from un- (1) "not" + willing. Re-formed 16c. Related: Unwillingly; unwillingness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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