Unscrupled

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minhduc

Senior Member
vietnamese
Hi there, I've failed to look up this word in the dictionary. Would you please explain it to me?

"For moment it seemed he had left us after all; his fatherly aspect had withdrawn and in its place was only a man, big as a car but blank and unscrupled as an infant, capable of anything."
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I hadn't heard it before, either. However, it turns out there was such a word. The OED includes unscrupled, and defines it as "unscrupulous" just as Dimcl does. It has a quote from the nineteenth century.
    1813 SCOTT Rokeby VI. vii, In their favour oft we see Unscrupled, useful men like thee.
    I found a more recent citation from a reputable source:
    "[Opera] was reconceived as abstract high art music rather than the violent, unscrupled, Machievellian drama that it was." The Cambridge History of American Music (1998).
    There are sufficient citations on the web and in Google books to suggest that the "unscrupled" still has some currency, or is regaining it.
     

    minhduc

    Senior Member
    vietnamese
    I understand why I couldn't find the definition of it anywhere. Thanks so much!
    But I see a problem here: The writer compared the father with an infant. And the word "unscrupulous" means "mean or without scruples". Can I understand it as "don't know which is wrong or right"?
     
    Last edited:

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    No, think of it as more along the lines of the fact that an infant cares for nothing but its own interests. A baby will turn to the person who it thinks is its likeliest source of food, comfort, etc. It's because they have not yet formulated the concepts of loyalty, love, etc.
     
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