Definition of unwed in US English:


(also unwedded)


  • Not married.

    ‘an unwed teenage mother’
    • ‘And here's an interview with the hedonistic San Francisco liberal mag, Salon, in which she says ‘I was an unwed mother for ten years.’’
    • ‘A sometime documentary filmmaker, she traveled to the once-thriving industrial town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in order to chronicle the lives of a generation of teenage unwed mothers.’
    • ‘‘Hispanic parents are the kind of parents that leave it to others,’ explains an unwed Salvadoran welfare mother in Santa Ana.’
    • ‘Part of preparing youth for the workplace is preventing them from winding up as unwed teenage mothers on the dole.’
    • ‘Yet many questions have never been publicly aired: What would have happened to those children of unwed teenage mothers if they hadn't been adopted?’
    • ‘She is a politically engaged, visibly white, socio-legally Black, sexually moral, unwed mother who was the victim of white male rape.’
    • ‘Likewise, back at the ranch, the Godless blue states rank, on average, ahead of the Bible-thumping red states on such hot-button morality indicators as divorce, unwed mothers and domestic violence.’
    • ‘Third of all, the practice of infanticide for unwed mothers was economic, as well as moral; it wasn't merely social stigma she worried about, but the real impossibility of nursing an infant and working.’
    • ‘The combined toll of AIDS and births to unwed mothers makes condom use not just a logical alternative for unmarried people who reject abstinence, but also a social and moral imperative.’
    • ‘A brief perusal of the welfare debates in the last decade among the conservatives, the liberals and the welfare recipients themselves - an unwed mother on welfare, in this instance - provides useful insights.’
    • ‘To say that a child of a single mother is twice as likely to commit a crime as the child of married parents is not to say that each and every child of every unwed mother will commit crimes or that no child of married parents will ever commit crimes.’
    • ‘Today, some states continue to differentiate between unwed mothers and fathers for inheritance purposes.’
    • ‘Many Ms. World contestants are threatening to boycott the competition which is supposed to be held in Nigeria, because of the recent sentencing of an unwed mother to death by stoning.’
    • ‘Furthermore, welfare laws discourage states from providing assistance for abortions as well as to unwed mothers, placing low-income women in a double bind.’
    • ‘While four out of five Americans would describe an unwed mother and her children as a ‘family,’ fewer than one in three would apply the term to a gay or lesbian couple raising children.’
    • ‘Utah has the nation's highest birth rate, but the lowest incidence of unwed teenage mothers.’
    • ‘That's right folks, I was the vilest creature that dared to haunt the social landscape: the unwed teenage welfare mom.’
    • ‘Even over the past two years, it is estimated there are 18,000 fewer nuclear family homes, including both married and unwed parents.’
    • ‘I can much more easily imagine myself telling my colleagues that I was going to be an unwed mother than telling them that I was going to be pregnant, but had no intention of raising the little monster.’
    • ‘It seems to me that the State goes out of its way to accommodate unfortunate unwed mothers while holding hard-working spouses with children to child care costs as high as their mortgage payments.’
    virginal, virgin, intact, maidenly, maiden, unmarried
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