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shunless definition


Define the English word shunless below. Shunless is an adjective. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



From shun +‎ -less (suffix meaning ‘lacking, without’),[1] probably popularized by the English playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616) by its use in his play Coriolanus (c. 1608–1609): see the quotation.



shunless (comparative more shunless, superlative most shunless)

  1. (literary) That cannot be shunned; not to be avoided; inevitable, unavoidable.
    Synonyms: unignorable, unshunnable
    Antonyms: avoidable, ignorable, shunnable
    • 1597, R[obert] T[ofte]; Edward Arber, compiler, “Laura. The Toys of a Traveller: Or The Feast of Fancy. []”, in An English Garner: Ingatherings from Our History and Literature, volume VIII, London: Archibald Constable and Co., [], published 1896, OCLC 1152800435, part II, stanza XXXIX, page 316:
      Th' immortal Parcæ, fatal sisters three, / Of mortal men, do sing the shunless fate: / What once Was, what Is now, and what Shall Be, / Their life, their death, their fortune, and their state.
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii], page 11, column 2:
      [A]lone he entred / The mortall Gate of th'Citie, which he painted / With ſhunleſſe deſtinie: []
    • 1853, J. Read, “[Appendix I.] Sketches Taken from Dover Castle during a Storm.”, in William Jerdan, The Autobiography of William Jerdan, [], volume III, London: Arthur Hall, [George] Virtue, & Co., [], OCLC 864758350, section II (The Progress of the Storm), page 354:
      [T]he many still would cling / To toil and tears—to life and suffering; / And some, whose anguish might not brook to wait / That shunless doom, plunged headlong to their fate: []
    • 1857, [William Hayne Simmons], Alasco, an Indian Tale: [], Philadelphia, Pa.: J[oshua] B[allinger] Lippincott & Co. [], OCLC 1237719276, canto the second, page 38:
      They oft / The sway of his red club, the shunless aim / Of his dreadful bow, and wasting tomahawk, / Had felt; []
    • 1866, Homer, “Book XVII”, in John Stuart Blackie, transl., Homer and the Iliad, volume III (The Iliad in English Verse, Books XIII.–XXIV.), Edinburgh: Edmondson and Douglas, OCLC 4731357, page 176:
      As for mine own dear life, O king, and thy most kingly head, / I tremble; since this cloud of war stout Hector rolleth o'er us / Dread-darkling; and perdition yawns with shunless gape before us.
    • 1885, Richard Wagner, [anonymous], transl., Die Walküre. (The Valkyr.) First Opera of the Rhinegold Trilogy (The “Ring of the Nibelung” Cyclus), Boston, Mass.: Oliver Ditson Company, OCLC 28591453, Act II, scene i, page 20, column 2:
      O, greatest of shame! / O, shunless disgrace! / God's distress! God's distress! / Endless regret! Infinite grief! / The saddest am I among all men!
    • 1897, Francis Thompson, “[Miscellaneous Odes.] An Anthem of Earth.”, in New Poems, Westminster [London]: Archibald Constable and Co., OCLC 906109011, anthem, page 139:
      This to the shunless fardel of the world / Nerves my uncurbèd back; []
    • a. 1908, Francis Thompson, “Moestitiae Encomium”, in A Renegade Poet and Other Essays, Boston, Mass.: The Ball Publishing Co., published 1910, OCLC 3077070, page 301:
      Foolishly we shun this shunless Sadness; fondly we deem of her as but huntress of men, who is tender and the bringer of tenderness to those she visits with her fearful favors.
    • 1914, John Jay Chapman, “Hector’s Farewell”, in Homeric Scenes: Hector’s Farewell and The Wrath of Achilles, New York, N.Y.: Laurence J. Gomme, OCLC 4703967, page 12:
      Hero and coward enter Hades' Gate / Through the same deathless, shunless Destiny,— / Apportioned and decreed.
    • 1919, Herbert Trench, “Battle of the Marne”, in Poems with Fables in Prose [], volume I, London: Constable and Company, stanza X, page 208:
      Harden'd are we by Life: its iron pains, / Its shunless endings, do we know; []
    • 1920, Denton J[acques] Snider, “Renascence Evolved”, in The St. Louis Movement in Philosophy, Literature, Education, Psychology [], St. Louis, Mo.: Sigma Publishing Co. [], OCLC 3372851, part second (Renascence), page 456:
      It seemed flung down before me by the genius presiding over my life's evolution, or if you will, by providential interposition at a turn of human destiny, with a secret but shunless behest to seize the unique opportunity.

Related terms



  1. ^ shunless, adj.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2018.