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unrequited

used in a sentence
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Definition not returned in kind

When not referring to returned feelings or other senses of return, requite typically indicates a suitable non-cash repayment. To requite a wrong is to perform an act of revenge. To requite a kindness is to return a good deed.

Unrequited is commonly used in relation to unreturned love. (Note that when "un" is used as a prefix, it often means "not".)  Today, unrequited is used far more commonly than the other forms of requite combined.

In classic literature as late as the 19th century, both requite and requited are used more than unrequited.
  • It's a sad song about the heartbreak of unrequited love.
unrequited = unreturned
  • She suffers the despair of unrequited love.
  • unrequited = unreturned
  • two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil
    Abraham Lincoln  --  Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
  • unrequited = unrewarded (not returned)
  • The entries were all about the books Andrew liked to read, dorky boy philosophizing, a couple of melancholy passages about an unrequited crush on some girl he never named.
    Sara Shepard  --  Pretty Little Liars
  • unrequited = not returned
  • She never battled with the public, but submitted uncomplainingly to its worst usage; she made no claim upon it in requital for what she suffered; she did not weigh upon its sympathies.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • requital = return
    (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • I thank you, and can but requite your good deeds with my prayers.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • requite = repay
    (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • He gave her in requital of all things else which ye had taken from me.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • requital = return
    (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • Pearl felt the sentiment, and requited it with the bitterest hatred that can be supposed to rankle in a childish bosom.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • requited = repaid or returned
    (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • "I know not Lethe nor Nepenthe," remarked he; "but I have learned many new secrets in the wilderness, and here is one of them—a recipe that an Indian taught me, in requital of some lessons of my own, that were as old as Paracelsus."
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • requital = in payment (in return for)
    (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • Whenever Pearl saw anything to excite her ever active and wandering curiosity, she flew thitherward, and, as we might say, seized upon that man or thing as her own property, so far as she desired it, but without yielding the minutest degree of control over her motions in requital.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • requital = return
    (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • None so ready as she to give of her little substance to every demand of poverty, even though the bitter-hearted pauper threw back a gibe in requital of the food brought regularly to his door, or the garments wrought for him by the fingers that could have embroidered a monarch's robe.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • requital = return
    (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • ...other return than the waywardness of an April breeze, which spends its time in airy sport, and has its gusts of inexplicable passion, and is petulant in its best of moods, and chills oftener than caresses you, when you take it to your bosom; in requital of which misdemeanours it will sometimes, of its own vague purpose, kiss your cheek with a kind of doubtful tenderness, and play gently with your hair, and then be gone about its other idle business, leaving a dreamy pleasure at your...
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • requital = return
    (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • ...commiseration for a woman of so miserable a destiny; or from the morbid curiosity that gives a fictitious value even to common or worthless things; or by whatever other intangible circumstance was then, as now, sufficient to bestow, on some persons, what others might seek in vain; or because Hester really filled a gap which must otherwise have remained vacant; it is certain that she had ready and fairly requited employment for as many hours as she saw fit to occupy with her needle.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • requited = paid in return
    (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • If he love me to madness, I shall never requite him.
    Shakespeare  --  The Merchant of Venice
  • requite = return it in kind
    (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk
    Abraham Lincoln  --  Second Inaugural Address
  • unrequited = not repaid (nothing received in return)
  • I had feelings of affection, and they were requited by detestation and scorn.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • requited = repaid or returned
    (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • Youth enwrapped them; the song of Phaethon announced passion requited, love attained.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Room With A View
  • (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • And may the gods requite those insolent puppies for the game they play in a home not their own.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • Fool, I'll requite it in the highest degree: I pr'ythee be gone.
    William Shakespeare  --  Twelfth Night
  • (Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • The kindness of my uncle and aunt can never be requited.
    Jane Austen  --  Pride and Prejudice
(Editor's note:  Unrequited is encountered more than twice as commonly as any form of requite without the prefix un-. The prefix "un-" in unrequited means not and reverses the meaning of requited. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)

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