Definition: When you gave something to someone with an expectation that you will get back what gave. However, when you don’t get back what you expected or gave your actions are unrequited.
Etymology: Unrequited is almost always used in a romantic context to refer to a love not returned. The base word is “requite” meaning returning a favor. One account notes unrequited was invented in the 1520s to describe not paying a debt.
The old English word for “back” is re and for “pay up” it is quite making the word re-quite, and eventually requit. In the 1540s requited was used in reference to love, which is where our current cultural meaning of “unrequited love” comes from.
In a Sentence
The object of your unrequited love just walked by the library and waved, but you didn’t see her and she bowed her head and continued walking.
Ever since he can remember, he’s had a long unrequited relationship with UFOs and potential beings from outer space, even those aliens that can eat us.
After receiving a court summons about a restraining order against him, you would think he’d understand his attention is unrequited before he went knocking on her door.