Origin of unlessMiddle English onlesse, earlier on lesse that, in lesse that, at less than, for less
An example of unless is saying you're going skiing this weekend, except if it doesn't snow - "I'll go skiing unless it doesn't snow."
Origin of unlessMiddle English unlesse alteration ( influenced by un- not ) of onlesse on on ; see on . lesse less ; see less .
- (except on a condition): if
onlesse, from on lesse, from "on a less condition" ("on" became un-)
- I don't want you to give that number to anyone unless it's an emergency, you understand?
- They wouldn't all be there unless something terrible had happened.
- Not unless he's willing to make a deal with me.
- Unless we know where to look, we won't find where his base is.
- Unless, of course, you don't trust her.