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  • Adj.

unconscionable

uhn-KON-shuh-nuh-buhl

Context
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To spit intentionally in someone’s face is unconscionable. This sort of unconscionable and unacceptable behavior shows no restraint and is both extremely rude and positively indecent. For a parent to teach a child that anger can be acceptably shown in this way is unconscionable and entirely unreasonable. Learning socially acceptable behavior is important, and to think that aggressive actions are a better way to communicate than with words is outrageously wrong and unconscionable.

Quiz: What is an unconscionable act?

  • Instinctive and done without thinking of consequences.
  • Intentionally careless in an underhanded sort of way.
  • Not kept in check by reasonable ideas of what is morally correct.

Memory Hook
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Unconscionable Only if Unconscious The only way that Frida the good nun would be able to commit an unconscionable crime would be if she were unconscious at the time of doing it.

Examples
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  • Russian Olga Yegorova, 29, was cleared Saturday by the International Amateur Athletic Federation, the result of an unconscionable oversight that leaves the championships — and the sport — open to a sweeping embarrassment. —Sports Illustrated
  • The American experience clearly shows the huge cost that excessive and arbitrary litigation can bring for prices, jobs and innovation through damages, punitive damages, unconscionable lawyers' fees and jury decisions. —The Economist
  • Public school choice avoids the politically unacceptable option of compulsory busing on the one hand and the socially unconscionable alternative of school segregation on the other. —The Christian Science Monitor
  • Debtors pray that this Court will find the relationship between Creditor and Debtor in this case to be unconscionable with clear elements of duress. —The Washington Post

Word Ingredients
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un- not, opposite of
con- thoroughly
sci know
-able handy, capable of

If one commits unconscionable acts, one is “capable of” of doing the “opposite of” what one “thoroughly knows” to be the right thing.

Word Constellation
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Unconscionable

Word Variants
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conscionable adj principled; acceptable to one's conscience or moral standards