Definition of unforgiving in English:



  • 1Not willing to forgive or excuse people's faults or wrongdoings:

    ‘he was always a proud and unforgiving man’
    • ‘Seen in history's unforgiving stare, the 21st century will be marked forever by the events of September 11.’
    • ‘It would be a daily reminder of one of the most unforgiving - and concentrated - culls of the innocent ever carried out by people on people.’
    • ‘A small proportion of people are stupid and hence don't get it but the criminal law is pretty much unforgiving of stupidity.’
    • ‘Earlier, when speaking to journalists, she was equally unforgiving.’
    • ‘When people break their promises to me I can be very unforgiving.’
    • ‘Voters are unforgiving of ministers about underperforming schools and hospitals that don't deliver.’
    • ‘It reopened after the war to dwindling attendance because of the people's unforgiving response to its withdrawal four years before.’
    • ‘She was then employed by Howard, a changeable character, easygoing one day, an unforgiving taskmaster the next.’
    • ‘The late 20th century's decline of social deference has led to a journalism which is unforgiving of the elite and its deviations.’
    • ‘It is one of the only books that turns an unforgiving spotlight on the German people and how they came so easily under the sway of the dark cloud of Nazism.’
    • ‘With its unforgiving machine memory, the Internet might turn out to be the unlikely conscience of the world.’
    • ‘In response the lord takes back his forgiveness and orders the unforgiving slave tortured.’
    • ‘Nowadays, we are developing a most unforgiving culture.’
    • ‘I mean, we've talked about how unforgiving investors are going to be for a very long time.’
    • ‘The people of Galmoy were unforgiving, however, and a ballad composed at the time records their anger and frustration.’
    • ‘Politics is fast and unforgiving, but already the Labour conference triumphs seem dated, while the minor divisions still remain.’
    • ‘Australians tend to be unforgiving, for example, of criminals who have served their jail sentence.’
    • ‘This is a very tragic event, and it is very telling of the cruelty of the Taliban and how unforgiving they are.’
    • ‘I suspect you won't look at that angry, unforgiving driver-in-pursuit in quite the same way again.’
    • ‘But when it comes down to matters of life and death there is something very unnerving about unforgiving anger, even when it is justified.’
    hypercritical, overcritical, severely critical, disapproving, condemnatory, condemning, castigatory, denunciatory, deprecatory, disparaging, unforgiving, reproachful, reproving, censuring, captious, fault-finding, carping, cavilling, full of reproof, vituperative
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    1. 1.1 (of a place or situation) harsh or hostile:
      ‘the moor can be a wild and unforgiving place in bad weather’
      • ‘Many Brits buying inland don't realise just how harsh winters in Spain's interior can be, or how unforgiving the scorching summer heat.’
      • ‘It's an unforgiving place and Australians who call it home are critically aware of water, for good reasons.’
      • ‘But this stark, unforgiving wilderness has proved to be a land of bountiful plenty for one Scottish company.’
      • ‘Alone we would surely perish; but working together made sense in a hostile and unforgiving world.’
      • ‘We should never lose sight of its sometimes violent and unforgiving nature.’
      • ‘It is a harsh unforgiving place of black volcanic rock, stunted trees and pounding waves.’
      • ‘But the world is an unforgiving place and best laid plans can go astray.’
      • ‘The world may be a cruel and unforgiving place, but artists make their own place in it.’
      • ‘As it is, the world is a cruel and unforgiving place, so in return for his injury all he gets is a load of catcalls, finger pointing and giggling.’
      • ‘Time to take his parting gifts and memories and go home, another victim of an unforgiving business.’
      • ‘What I found was not the cold, unforgiving building I'd expected but a beautifully proportioned and classy interior.’
      • ‘The desert is an unforgiving place to those who cannot read its signs or understand its subtle warnings.’
      • ‘This unforgiving place was the land that had been ruled by Ganon for many years.’
      • ‘Do not relax for an instant because our working environment is extremely unforgiving.’
      • ‘Afghanistan has some of the harshest, most unforgiving terrain in the world.’
      • ‘These are different factors and obstacles we have to go through, trying to survive in this harsh, unforgiving land.’
      • ‘The surprising thing is that what emerges from such a brutally hard and unforgiving environment is a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect.’
      • ‘This is the unforgiving world which Buffel has entered.’
      • ‘You are deep in the recesses of a forbidden jungle - an unforgiving place few explorers ever survive.’
      • ‘But the markets are cruel and unforgiving places and Milne can see the benefits of a listing as much as understanding the downside risks.’
      harsh, grim, fierce, cruel, severe, strict, punishing, remorseless, merciless, pitiless, ruthless, unmerciful, unsparing, heartless, hard-hearted, hard, stony-hearted, stony, with a heart of stone, cold-blooded, cold-hearted, unforgiving, unfeeling, uncaring, unsympathetic, uncharitable, lacking compassion, unpitying
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