The online dictionary Merriam-webster says there is a word 'ungotten'. But Can we use it like we use the words such as unseen, unheard etc.? Is there any other word we can use for 'not obtained'?

1 Answer 1


"Ungotten" is an archaic word that may occasionally still be used in certain literature, but not in everyday speech. "Ill-gotten" (meaning obtained through illegal or questionable means) is similarly archaic but is used slightly more often as part of the idiom "ill-gotten gains".

"Unobtained" is a valid word, although it isn't often used. "Unobtainable" is certainly used often, although this refers to something which cannot be obtained rather than something which has not. I'm a native British English speaker, and I can't think of a single word that is widely used for this purpose. If someone tried to get something but didn't, we would probably just say "I didn't get it".

I'm not completely sure what you mean by asking "is this jargon?", but I am aware that the prefix un- is sometimes applied to the names of technical processes to mean a reversal or undoing of that process. I cannot imagine an archaic term like 'ungotten' being used in this way because the word 'gotten' is equally archaic.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .