Definition of unforgiving in US English:



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

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