What does unless mean?

Definitions for unless
ʌnˈlɛs, ən-un·less

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word unless.


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Wiktionary

  1. unlessconjunction

    Except on a specified condition; if not.

    I'm leaving unless I get a pay rise.

  2. Etymology: onlesse, from on lesse, from on a less condition (on became un-)

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Unlessconjunct.

    Except; if not; supposing that not.

    Let us not say, we keep the commandments of the one, when we break the commandments of the other: for, unless we observe both, we obey neither. Richard Hooker.

    Unless I look on Sylvia in the day,
    There is no day for me to look upon. William Shakespeare.

    What hidden strength,
    Unless the strength of heav’n, if you mean that. John Milton.

    For sure I am, unless I win in arms,
    To stand excluded from Emilia’s charms;
    Nor can my strength avail, unless by thee,
    Endu’d with force, I gain the victory. Dryden.

    The commendation of adversaries is the greatest triumph of a writer, because it never comes unless extorted. Dryden.

    No poet ever sweetly sung,
    Unless he were, like Phœbus, young;
    Nor ever nymph inspir’d to rhyme,
    Unless, like Venus, in her prime. Jonathan Swift.

Wikipedia

  1. Unless

    Unless is the final novel by Canadian writer Carol Shields, first published by Fourth Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins in 2002. Semi-autobiographical, it was the capstone to Shields's writing career: she died shortly after its publication in 2003. The work was widely acclaimed and nominated for the Booker Prize, the Giller Prize, the Governor General's Award, the Orange Prize for Fiction, and received the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. In 2011, it was a finalist in the Canada Reads competition, where it was defended by actor Lorne Cardinal. Like many of her works (especially The Stone Diaries), Unless explores the extraordinary that lies within the ordinary lives of ordinary women. The novel is narrated in first person by 44-year-old writer and translator, Reta Winters. The book proceeds as a linear series of reflections by Reta, elliptically coming to the thematic center of the story: the seemingly arbitrary decision of Reta's college-aged daughter Norah to drop out of university and live on the street with a cardboard sign affixed to her chest that reads "Goodness". Although the novel does not in any way proceed like a mystery, the reasons for Norah's departure from the normal world are Reta's primary motivation in writing. In parallel, her relationship with her French mentor (a Holocaust survivor and poet) drives much of her narration and view of herself. The novel deals extensively with the role of women and in particular, women's literature. Late in the novel, Reta starts to break from herself and write in character as a disenfranchised female writer. The underlying theme is that the lives of women are underwritten, ignored, and dealt with as "trivial" by the literary establishment. The novel also functions largely as an investigation into the role of writing in general (independent of gender). Reta's grief over her daughter's state makes her very inwardly focussed on the process of writing. A reflection of this is shown in the title of the book and the chapter titles. "Unless" and the chapter titles ("therefore", "else", "instead") are all words that are used to couch the fragmented manner in which life fits together. As Shields writes, "A life is full of isolated events, but these events, if they are to form a coherent narrative, require odd pieces of language to link them together, little chips of grammar (mostly adverbs or prepositions) that are hard to define [...] words like therefore, else, other, also, thereof, therefore, instead, otherwise, despite, already, and not yet." The novel was adapted into the 2016 film Unless, which stars Catherine Keener as Reta and Hannah Gross as Norah.On November 5, 2019, the BBC News listed Unless on its list of the 100 most influential novels.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Unless

    upon any less condition than (the fact or thing stated in the sentence or clause which follows); if not; supposing that not; if it be not; were it not that; except; as, we shall fail unless we are industrious

Wikidata

  1. Unless

    Unless, first published by Fourth Estate, an imprint of Harper Collins in 2002, is the final novel by Canadian writer Carol Shields. Semi-autobiographical, it was the capstone to Shields's writing career: she died shortly after its publication in 2003. The work was widely acclaimed and nominated for the Booker Prize, the Giller Prize, the Governor General's Award, the Orange Prize for Fiction, and received the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. In 2011, it was a finalist in the Canada Reads competition, where it was defended by actor Lorne Cardinal. Like many of her works, Unless explores the extraordinary that lies within the ordinary lives of ordinary women. The novel is narrated in first person by 44-year old writer and translator, Reta Winters. The book proceeds as a linear series of reflections by Reta, elliptically coming to the thematic center of the story: the seemingly arbitrary decision of Reta's college-aged daughter Norah to drop out of university and live on the street with a cardboard sign affixed to her chest that reads "Goodness". Although the novel does not in any way proceed like a mystery, the reasons for Norah's departure from the normal world are Reta's primary motivation in writing. In parallel, her relationship with her French mentor drives much of her narration and view of herself.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Unless

    un-les′, conj. at or for less: if not: supposing that not: save, except. [Formerly on les, on lesse, in phrase on lesse that, in less than.]

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'unless' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #967

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'unless' in Written Corpus Frequency: #680

How to pronounce unless?

How to say unless in sign language?

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of unless in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of unless in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of unless in a Sentence

  1. Sergey Lavrov:

    Unless United States doesn't go to bed with Ukraine, I don't think so.

  2. Saul Bellow:

    The part can never be well unless the whole is well.

  3. Cyndi Murray:

    Walmart, the largest private employer in the country, pays so low that many employees depend on food stamps to survive, they won't change unless they're forced to. That's why the Raise the Wage Act has our full support.

  4. Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy:

    This election in Ga will be the most important in history, you have nothing to worry about unless you are a tax payer, parent, gun owner, cop, person of faith, or an unborn baby!

  5. Nan Aron:

    Unless there are real reforms to the court, including expanding the number of justices, something completely constitutional and done regularly throughout our history, our system of government and our rights and legal protections will be eroded for generations.

Popularity rank by frequency of use

unless#1#1577#10000

Translations for unless

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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