faithless vs unfaithful what difference

what is difference between faithless and unfaithful



From Middle English feithles, equivalent to faith +‎ -less.


faithless (comparative more faithless, superlative most faithless)

  1. Lacking faith; lacking belief in something.
  2. Not believing in God, religion, or a comparable ideology.
  3. Unfaithful (said of people, towards their partners)
    • 1996, Frederick Ahl, Hanna Roisman, The Odyssey re-formed, p. 283:
      Menelaus, who fought to recover his faithless wife, has clearly rooted himself in Sparta for the remainder of his life []
  4. Not observant of promises or covenants.
  5. Not true to allegiance, duty, or vows
    Synonyms: perfidious, treacherous, disloyal
  6. Serving to disappoint or deceive
    Synonyms: delusive, unsatisfying

Derived terms

  • faithless elector
  • faithlessly
  • faithlessness


  • flashiest, stalefish



From un- +‎ faithful


unfaithful (comparative more unfaithful, superlative most unfaithful)

  1. Not having religious faith.
  2. Not keeping good faith; disloyal; not faithful.
  3. Adulterous.
  4. Not honest or upright.
  5. Negligent or imperfect.
    The painting was an unfaithful rendering of its subject.
  6. (translation studies) Not faithfully rendering the meaning of the source language; incorrect.

Derived terms

  • unfaithfully
  • unfaithfulness



  • unfaithful in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.

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