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From Middle English unresonably; equivalent to unreasonable +‎ -ly.


  • enPR: ŭn-rēʹ-zən-ə-blē, IPA(key): /ʌn.ˈɹiː.zən.ə.bli/
  • Audio (Southern England):(file)
  • Hyphenation: un‧rea‧son‧a‧bly
  • Rhymes: -iːzənəbli



unreasonably (comparative more unreasonably, superlative most unreasonably)

  1. In an unreasonable manner.
    He behaved unreasonably.
    • c. 1608–1609 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene iii], page 4, column 2:
      Fye, you confine your ſelfe moſt vnreaſonably: Come, you muſt go viſit the good Lady that lies in.
    • 1711 November 3, Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, “The Spectator”, in Saturday[1], volume 3, number 213:
      When I employ myself upon a paper of morality, I generally consider how I may recommend the particular virtue which I treat of, by the precepts or examples of the ancient heathens; by that means, if possible, to shame those who have greater advantages of knowing their duty, and therefore greater obligations to perform it, into a better course of life: besides that many among us are unreasonably disposed to give a fairer hearing to a pagan philosopher, than to a christian writer.
    • 1847 October 16, Currer Bell [pseudonym; Charlotte Brontë], chapter IV, in Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. [], volume I, London: Smith, Elder, and Co., [], →OCLC, page 45:
      When thus gentle, Bessie seemed to me the best, prettiest, kindest being in the world; and I wished most intensely that she would always be so pleasant and amiable, and never push me about, or scold, or task me unreasonably, as she was too often wont to do.
  2. To an unreasonable degree.
    The team was given an unreasonably short amount of time to put together a presentation.
    • 1737, Jonathan Swift, Letter to Alderman Barber dated 30 March, 1737, in The Works of Dr Jonathan Swift, Edinburgh: J. Balfour, 1766, Volume 11, p. 126,[2]
      Thus bishops, deans, and chapters, as well as other corporations, seldom or never let their lands even so high as half the value; and when they raise those rents which are unreasonably low, it is by degrees.
    • 1885, Woodrow Wilson, chapter 4, in Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics[3], Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, page 193:
      The Senate of the United States has been both extravagantly praised and unreasonably disparaged, according to the predisposition and temper of its various critics.
    • 1892, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper[4]:
      I get unreasonably angry with John sometimes. I’m sure I never used to be so sensitive. I think it is due to this nervous condition.