Definition of unavailing in US English:



  • Achieving little or nothing; ineffective.

    ‘their efforts were unavailing’
    • ‘This has been compounded by an unavailing resort to extreme force in the most heated zones of engagement.’
    • ‘Finally, when that proved unavailing, I put my hand on the punk's chest, shoved him off his board, and finished out my ride.’
    • ‘My own search for this has proven unavailing, so I thought I'd call on my readers' knowledge in this matter.’
    • ‘Detroit Aircraft's frantic efforts to regain stability were unavailing and, in October, the corporation floundered into receivership.’
    • ‘Henry, their eldest child, grew up on their small selection, witnessing his father's unavailing struggle to make a living as a farmer and prospector, and the slow disintegration of his parents' marriage.’
    • ‘And maybe they are especially corrupting when they are unavailing: Suppose your ex-con doesn't care, and won't behave.’
    • ‘Cambridge did not grant women degrees until 1948, but in March 1897 Maitland delivered a superb if unavailing address favoring the women's cause.’
    • ‘Monty did make a magnificent eagle at the final hole - his approach finished no more than a yard from the cup - to haul himself up to an unavailing eight-over par.’
    • ‘Years of strenuous effort to prove the case have been unavailing.’
    • ‘I have taken the other side of the unavailing inflation ‘debate,’ arguing that inflation is anything but dead and bond prices anything but a sure bet.’
    • ‘The reformist road to socialism was unavailing, but the reformist road to a more humane capitalism doesn't look much more hopeful.’
    • ‘The students' petition proved unavailing, as were Professor Day's own efforts to persuade the administration to reconsider its position.’
    • ‘And third, we have rights where ordinary economic and political levers of change prove unavailing in efforts to improve individual well-being.’
    • ‘The second response to the sterility objection - that a procreation requirement would be unduly intrusive - is equally unavailing.’
    • ‘It is still unclear whether virtual education is really less expensive, and attempts to assess comprehensively the effectiveness of educational programs have been unavailing.’
    • ‘The ‘last’ in last resort can mean ‘only,’ in circumstances where there is plausible reason to believe that nonmilitary actions are unavailable or unavailing.’
    • ‘Having rejected an unavailing reformist road to socialism, they now believed they had reformed capitalism substantially enough that the interests of workers and capitalists coincided.’
    • ‘When their controls proved unavailing, and the charges failed to meet their exacting code of conduct, they could be seen meting out punishments that were also immoderate, disproportionate to the supposed offense.’
    • ‘Inquiries made of the sellers and their forwarding agents after the event were unavailing because they were either elusive or unco-operative or both.’
    • ‘Tens of thousands of fruit flies have come and gone in laboratory experiments, and every last one of them has remained a fruit fly to the end, all efforts to see the miracle of speciation unavailing.’
    ineffective, ineffectual, inefficacious, vain, in vain, futile, useless, unsuccessful, non-successful, nugatory, failed, fruitless, unproductive, profitless, unprofitable, pointless, to no avail, to no purpose, to no effect, abortive, inadequate
    View synonyms