Definition of unsympathetic in US English:



  • 1Not feeling, showing, or expressing sympathy.

    ‘I'm not being unsympathetic, but I can't see why you put up with him’
    • ‘A petite woman dressed in pearls and a well-tailored suit, she comes across as shrewd and hardheaded but not unsympathetic to her subjects.’
    • ‘I don't mean to sound harsh and unsympathetic, but I did not want to be held hostage in a room listening to other peoples' problems.’
    • ‘This led to some inconsistent and frankly unbelievable plot devices and left me feeling detached and unsympathetic towards both of the lead characters.’
    • ‘The Scottish Executive's slowness to bring in new rights led to accusations that ministers have been ‘got at’ by civil servants unsympathetic to the language.’
    • ‘My generation of mothers - I still have a child at school - has been largely unsympathetic to the whining of new parents about how hard it all is.’
    • ‘Distributors and studios are fairly unsympathetic entities, so it's hard to get average people to care about them.’
    • ‘His own gaze, generally unsympathetic and indifferent to the Other as such, evokes little sympathy.’
    • ‘One of the lady victims feels that they are being let down and find themselves directionless in an unsympathetic environment.’
    • ‘There's nothing quite as unsympathetic as a politician looking for sympathy.’
    • ‘With her face shadowed with the night, it was hard to tell if her expression was concerned or unsympathetic as she looked to the girl sitting next to her.’
    • ‘They've also been portrayed, by the husband and his attorneys, and by unsympathetic media, as everything from religious fanatics to pathetic simpletons.’
    • ‘Reporters and publications seen as unsympathetic to the administration's goals find it harder to get access to officials.’
    • ‘He said it was natural for the public to feel unsympathetic towards prisoners at a time when crime was rampant and prisons overflowing.’
    • ‘The precise merit of his book is that he details how pluralist authors have evolved in response to both sympathetic and unsympathetic critics.’
    • ‘When I just go ahead and speak my mind, inevitably it comes out sounding like I am an insensitive, unsympathetic rationalist.’
    • ‘People see that present-day law is unduly lenient towards the criminal, and unsympathetic, sometimes harsh, towards the victim.’
    • ‘He said both he and his ministers had practiced an ‘illogical, unsympathetic and self-centered style of communication’.’
    • ‘A generally unsympathetic Supreme Court will again take up the issue - in the context of federal contracting programs - next term.’
    • ‘At times it's excruciatingly well-observed and cruel, but without being totally unsympathetic.’
    • ‘The desire to introduce some form of democracy was/is inconsistent with the objective of having a government that was necessarily sympathetic to the west, and unsympathetic to terrorism.’
    uncaring, unconcerned, unfeeling, insensitive, unkind, compassionless, uncharitable, unpitying, pitiless, uncommiserating, indifferent, unresponsive, apathetic, unmoved, untouched, heartless, cold, hard-hearted, stony-hearted, hard, harsh, callous, cruel, inhuman
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    1. 1.1predicative Not showing approval or favor toward an idea or action.
      ‘they were initially unsympathetic toward the cause of Irish freedom’
      • ‘Some reformers are simply unsympathetic to the clash of ideas and interests that is inseparable from democratic politics.’
      • ‘His book is particularly unsympathetic towards the Lhasa theocracy, which is not surprising since he chronicles the 1904 invasion of Tibet by the British.’
      • ‘Councillors decided the proposals were unsympathetic towards existing properties and grouping the low-cost homes together would create a ‘ghetto’ at one end of the cul-de-sac.’
      • ‘Although not unsympathetic to the idea of states' rights, he believed that the South needed outside help in order to improve.’
      • ‘Because of its emphasis on universalism and on acculturation within the host societies, Reform was unsympathetic, even hostile, towards the Zionist movement.’
      • ‘I am not unsympathetic to Singer's vegetarianism.’
      • ‘There are valid arguments in favor of keeping an estate tax, and I'm not unsympathetic to all of them.’
      • ‘On Israel, he writes: "…Orwell was unsympathetic to the Zionist cause and there is nothing in the subsequent history of the State of Israel that would have led him to change his mind."’
      • ‘Indeed, almost any fiction written in English which deals with Catholicism, especially since the Second Vatican Catastrophe, is likely to be appropriately unsympathetic.’
      • ‘My wife is extremely unsympathetic to it but it's my way of winding down, it helps me to relax when I'm stressed.’
      • ‘While not unsympathetic, he raises three important objections to his proposal: First, we need educated soldiers.’
      • ‘At first, I was unsympathetic with his position and had not attended the meeting.’
      • ‘The campaign may have been started by figures unsympathetic to the Labour government, but the reality is that it has resonated with a very large proportion of the public, including many Labour supporters.’
      • ‘I'm generally unsympathetic to autobiographical works.’
      • ‘In short, I am not unsympathetic to his agenda nor am I of the religious right.’
      • ‘In 1930 he assumed power in Brazil after a revolution and his dictatorship was unsympathetic towards modern art.’
      • ‘Admittedly, I am an historian, so that makes me extremely unsympathetic to the sorts of loose and ahistorical generalizations to which sociologists are greatly inclined.’
      • ‘The administration might be unsympathetic to a more robust policy towards Burma.’
      • ‘During the 1980s, some political candidates rejected financial support from Arab Americans in order not to appear unsympathetic toward Israel.’
      • ‘His inclination, as a federalist, was unsympathetic towards some of that exploration.’
      opposed to, against, set against, dead set against, antagonistic towards, inimical to, anti, ill-disposed towards, disapproving of
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    2. 1.2 (of a person) not friendly or cooperative; unlikable.
      ‘a totally unsympathetic character’
      • ‘But the narrator is so unsympathetic, so blank and fleshless, that it's hard to feel engaged by her story, unless by the freak-show details.’
      • ‘She assigned the story, she said last week, as an example of ‘an unsympathetic narrator, a guy who is sadistic and sexist.’’
      • ‘If anything, deconstruction made the left wing postures even less palatable to unsympathetic observers both inside and outside the university.’
      • ‘Not to mention that after the long wait, when you finally get to the counter, you meet an unsympathetic employee telling you there's no child support money deposited there for you to collect.’
      • ‘They have been betrayed by those who say that Australians are hard-hearted, unsympathetic, closed and cold.’
      • ‘Consequently, he is an unsympathetic character, whom he is hard pressed to make sympathetic.’
      • ‘She's cold and unsympathetic, and I don't like her.’
      • ‘In each, Douglas struggles against uppity, unsympathetic women who threaten his masculinity, disrupt his career and his cosy family life, and sexually harass him in the office.’
      • ‘Unlike him, whose doctors were extremely supportive, she found herself being dealt with by abrasive, unsympathetic staff.’
      • ‘He seems a somewhat austere and unsympathetic figure and his verses today seem dull and obscure, in translation at least.’
      • ‘It was an encounter which began to turn the public against Judith, who appeared on the defensive, uncontrolled, bad tempered and all in all a rather unsympathetic character.’
      • ‘A reader would understandably begin to suspect that he might be shirking his imaginative responsibilities here by offering us nothing more than an unsympathetic portrait of an unsympathetic character.’
      • ‘The writing and directing move the story along, painting a rather sympathetic portrait of a very unsympathetic character.’
      • ‘What I got instead was a gut-wrenchingly awful representation of my community, peopled with unlikeable and unsympathetic characters and crammed full of every negative Jewish stereotype imaginable.’
      • ‘With piles of work mounting up, deadlines looming and ever-increasing pressure from unsympathetic bosses, the 25-year-old was suffering from stress.’
      • ‘Put in this context, playing an unsympathetic figure in Magnolia looks less like a leap of faith and more a logical progression, and as for the ‘risky’ element?’
      • ‘During his presidential years, perhaps due to shyness, he was at times criticized for being aloof, cold, and unsympathetic under the stress of public duty.’
      • ‘I've written another cruel and unsympathetic character.’
      • ‘I was a good enough actor I suppose, having practised practically my whole life, but why did I always play the cold unsympathetic villain?’
      • ‘At this point, an unsympathetic viewer might say that he is too severe.’
      unlikeable, disagreeable, unpleasant, objectionable, obnoxious, unsavoury, unattractive
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