Definitions of Unless

  1. If not; in case not; on condition that not.
  2. 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.
  3. Except; if not.
  4. If it be not a fact that; supposing that ... not.
  5. Except; if not; supposing that not.
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