unruly

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English unruly (unquiet, restless), equivalent to un- +‎ rule +‎ -ly (compare Middle English ruly, reuli (subject to a religious rule, regular)), but also representing a modified continuation of earlier Middle English unrouly, unroly (unquiet, restless), equivalent to un- +‎ roolie. The latter is perhaps from or influenced by Old Norse [Term?], related to Danish urolig (restless), Swedish orolig (restless), Icelandic órólegur (agitated). Compare also Middle English unroo, unro (unrest). More at roo.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

unruly (comparative unrulier, superlative unruliest)

  1. wild; uncontrolled
    The police gathered to contain the unruly mob.

Translations[edit]