Definition of unwinnable in US English:



  • Not able to be won.

    ‘an immoral and unwinnable war’
    • ‘His successor, knowing the war was unwinnable, nevertheless carpet-bombed the region in order to fend off an inevitable defeat until after his re-election campaign.’
    • ‘You see, dear friends, we were watching Henry V, Shakespeare's ode to victory against all odds, when I began to think about another seemingly unwinnable war - the fight against the tuition hikes.’
    • ‘It's time to accept drug use as a right of adult Americans, treat drug abuse as a public health problem and end the madness of an unwinnable war.’
    • ‘Ireland's history has been strewn with uneven battles, tales of gross inequality and unwinnable wars, yet it stands tall.’
    • ‘His last years were plagued by unwinnable wars.’
    • ‘We're tying up billions of dollars in an unwinnable, perpetual war on an enemy that we can't even locate.’
    • ‘A period of evolution in military technology may cause a head of water to build up which will then create a more sudden change in organization and attitudes - the realization that major war is unwinnable, for example.’
    • ‘Only once the war was unwinnable did Stalin loosen his grip on the Spanish Republican cause, which - contrary to a simplistic explanation merely of Stalinist betrayal - itself had long since abandoned democracy.’
    • ‘On the current prospectus, the war on terror is unwinnable.’
    • ‘This is why they fought an unwinnable war for so long.’
    • ‘The domestic drug war is not only unwinnable, it has exacted a high social cost.’
    • ‘Even once the cause of the Peru missionary tragedy is established and steps are taken to prevent a recurrence, the drug war will remain unwinnable until the U.S. appetite for narcotics is suppressed.’
    • ‘It demonstrated to large numbers of Americans that the war was unwinnable on the battlefield.’
    • ‘One of the principal reasons for which the war against terrorism is unwinnable is the fact that both sides have vested interests in the perpetuation of the frontier-land conditions.’
    • ‘They fully recognize that given Canada's size and dependence on the US economy such a policy could only embroil them in an unwinnable trade war.’
    • ‘Many reporters there gradually concluded that war was unwinnable.’
    • ‘The war on drugs is to be intensified on a European basis, a war that has proved unwinnable all over the world and has been synonymous with repression and cruelty.’
    • ‘In the war against drugs, which is probably an unwinnable one, it is one of the few black and white issues.’
    • ‘What keeps us glued to the TV set, besides natural disasters, unwinnable wars, terrorist plots, missing white women and celebrity court trials?’
    • ‘For the past three years he has been locked in an unwinnable war against the Chechens and has opposed their demands for autonomy by deploying large numbers of troops against them.’