Definitions of Unless

  1. 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.
  2. If not; in case not; on condition that not.
  3. Except and unless were common formerly as conjuctions, nearly or quite interchangeable (“ Except thou make thyself a prince over us.”- Num. xvi. 18), but the former is now comparatively seldom used in that way ( at least with the verb directly expressed), having usually a prepositional force. In the Bible except ( conj.) occurs eight or ten times as often as unless. The special function of except is to introduce an exception to a general statement; of unless to introduce a restriction, limitation, or alternative. “ So that he could not be impleaded in any civil court except on criminal charges.”- Hallam. “ And made it hard for any nation to be thenceforth safe except by its sheer strength."- Kinglake. " A releif was a sum of money ( unless where charter or custom introduced a different tribute) due from every one of full age, etc."- Hallam. " Except when it happens that the people are turned aside for a moment the foreigner has good grounds for inferring that whatever the policy of England may be, it will not be altogether unstable."- Kinglake. " In Europe, all States except the five great Powers are exempt from the duty of watching over the general safety; and even a State which is one of the five great Powers is not practically under an obligation to sustain the cause of justice unless its perception of the wrong is reinforced by a sense of its own interests."- Kinglake.
  4. Except; if not.
  5. If it be not a fact that; supposing that ... not.
  6. Except; if not; supposing that not.

Usage examples for Unless

  1. How can we know," she said, " unless you tell us?" – In the Courts of Memory 1858-1875. by L. de Hegermann-Lindencrone
  2. After that- he will be forgotten, unless some one comes to claim him. – The Man Who Rose Again by Joseph Hocking
  3. Now unless you let us have that captain we'll burn the house right over your head. – Peggy Owen and Liberty by Lucy Foster Madison
  4. Of course"- slowly-" I won't ask you to do it, unless you wish it. – Faith and Unfaith by Duchess
  5. " I don't know why you took the plate unless- unless it is because you- you couldn't help it. – The Chase of the Golden Plate by Jacques Futrelle
  6. 9735. Do they not give you worsted unless you pay for it in money? – Second Shetland Truck System Report by William Guthrie
  7. Unless you felt like it? – The Price She Paid by David Graham Phillips
  8. " Unless you want it ... – Dr. Adriaan by Louis Couperus
  9. But she was never a beautiful woman, until she knew that Mountjoy's life was safe; and she will never be a beautiful woman again, unless the time comes when my death leaves her free to marry him. – Blind Love by Wilkie Collins
  10. I could never remember, Miss Cardross- unless you tell me. – The Firing Line by Robert W. Chambers
  11. Unless she isn't here. – Brain Twister by Gordon Randall Garrett Laurence Mark Janifer
  12. " I can't be at peace unless I know that I have a right to be so. – April Hopes by William Dean Howells Last Updated: February 27, 2009
  13. Now, Mr. Ravenor and I know best where to find him in London, but we can't leave unless we know that there is someone on the look- out here as well. – Mr. Marx's Secret by E. Phillips Oppenheim
  14. Children wouldn't be children unless they were hungry. – The Bobbsey Twins in the Great West by Laura Lee Hope
  15. And don't any of you fire unless I tell you to. – Soldiers of Fortune by Richard Harding Davis
  16. Unless you forgive me I can't go on with it. – Somewhere in France by Richard Harding Davis
  17. She wouldn't come unless she had made up her mind to take him. – The Vicar of Bullhampton by Anthony Trollope
  18. He couldn't possibly know unless I told him. – The Paradise Mystery by J. S. Fletcher
  19. " I don't know," replied Frank, " unless they went in this house." – The Boy Allies Under the Sea by Robert L. Drake