Definition of unwilling in English:



  • [often with infinitive] Not ready, eager, or prepared to do something.

    ‘he was unwilling to take on that responsibility’
    ‘unwilling conscripts’
    • ‘The bull trade was slow as evident in all bull sales as farmers are unwilling to buy bulls at this time of year.’
    • ‘Funny how the group seemed unwilling to take questions on a press release they had prepared.’
    • ‘Some will be risk averse, others close to retirement and unwilling to jeopardise their futures.’
    • ‘Governments seem to be unwilling to use any but the most primitive strategies.’
    • ‘He is unwilling to use the same pattern twice, because each customer wants his or her tattoo to be unique.’
    • ‘According to Shanghai Youth Daily, most affluent locals are unwilling to be listed.’
    • ‘If you are unwilling to go back to the city at night, you can easily find a farmer willing to provide a room for a very low charge.’
    • ‘People were either afraid or just plain unwilling to give sufficient evidence.’
    • ‘Some have disabilities which the parents are unable or unwilling to cope with.’
    • ‘Telecom has been unable or unwilling to make JetStream attractive to many of us.’
    • ‘They are unwilling to accept a role for Congress in deciding how much aid money to spend.’
    • ‘She cast herself as cautious, well prepared and unwilling to compromise her safety.’
    • ‘She fought him grimly, watched by other motorists unwilling to help, and then the man let go and ran.’
    • ‘On this day the audience sat quietly when the second dance ended, as if quite unwilling to break the mood.’
    • ‘Maybe these people are just happy to be where they are, and unwilling to sell at any price.’
    • ‘Not coincidentally, those people are also usually unwilling to pay a fair rate.’
    • ‘It has signaled that it is essentially unwilling to grant its demands and is prepared for a long struggle.’
    • ‘Government wants a search and rescue system in place but is unwilling to pay.’
    • ‘A bigger obstacle to hurling progress is the number of players unwilling to commit to the cause.’
    • ‘Though they can't see clearly, most children are unwilling to let others know it.’
    reluctant, unenthusiastic, hesitant, afraid, resistant, grudging, involuntary, forced, enforced
    disinclined, reluctant, averse, loath, indisposed, not in the mood, slow, not about
    View synonyms


Old English unwillende (see un-, willing).