lacking compassion, mercy or pity; unkind


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



merciless, unmerciful, ruthless, cruel, harsh, heartless, merciless, merciless, unfeeling


merciful, compassionate, humane, kindly, benevolent

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun pitilessness, pitilessnesses
Verb None
Adjective pitiless
Adverb pitilessly

Example Sentences

  • The dictator’s regime was characterized by pitiless oppression, as dissidents were silenced and human rights were trampled upon without mercy.

  • The freezing storm showed no mercy as it battered the village, leaving the residents pitilessly exposed to its relentless wrath.

  • The pitiless business tycoon ruthlessly exploited his workers, caring only for profit and disregarding their well-being or dignity.

  • The pitiless murderer showed no remorse as he coldly and methodically carried out his heinous crimes, leaving a trail of devastation in his wake.


The word “pitiless” has its roots in the Middle English term “pitilees” which evolved from the Old French word “pitel” meaning “merciless” or “ruthless.” The suffix “-less” is added to the root word “pite,” derived from the Latin “pietas” meaning “compassion” or “pity.” This indicates the absence or lack of mercy or compassion.

The term “pitiless” is used to describe someone or something that is completely lacking in pity, compassion, or empathy. It suggests a complete indifference or disregard for the suffering or hardships of others. It denotes a harsh, unfeeling, and unsympathetic attitude or behavior.

The usage of “pitiless” often refers to individuals who are unyielding in their actions or judgments, showing no mercy or leniency. It can describe someone who is relentless in pursuing their goals, even if it causes harm or distress to others. It is also used to characterize situations or circumstances that are harsh, unforgiving, or unrelenting.

Variations of the word “pitiless” include “pitilessness” (noun form) and “pitilessly” (adverb form). These variations further emphasize the absence of pity or compassion and highlight the relentless and unsympathetic nature of the word.

Overall, “pitiless” is a powerful term that conveys a lack of mercy, compassion, or empathy. It is used to describe individuals or situations that show no consideration for the well-being or suffering of others, portraying a cold and unfeeling nature.