dis·​taste·​ful (ˌ)dis-ˈtāst-fəl How to pronounce distasteful (audio)
: objectionable because offensive to one's personal taste : unpleasant, disagreeable
found the job distasteful
a shady, distasteful character
: objectionable because in poor taste, inappropriate, or unethical
a harmless stroking … but it seems oddly distasteful in retrospectRichard Sandza et al.
: unpleasant to the taste
distasteful unripe fruit
distastefully adverb
distastefulness noun

Example Sentences

The work was distasteful, but it was the best I could find at the time. It was a distasteful subject to him.
Recent Examples on the Web Among the many unwelcome legacies of Donald Trump’s random walk through foreign and defense policy during his presidency, the resurgence of isolationism and know-nothingism in the Republican Party is among the most distasteful and dangerous. John R. Bolton, National Review, 23 Jan. 2023 Skip forward 133 years, and Lombroso’s theories seem antiquated, even distasteful. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 8 Apr. 2010 However, instead, his owner offered him a medication he is known to find distasteful. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 26 Mar. 2013 While the intent behind the new rules is laudable, political speech – even of an offensive or distasteful nature – goes to the core of U.S. democracy. Dwight Stirling, The Conversation, 11 Aug. 2022 Biles was not the only public figure to speak out regarding the distasteful costume choice. Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 1 Nov. 2022 Tailing the boss Baehman, the Southern Co. spokesman, said surveillance used to gain a commercial advantage is inappropriate and distasteful. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al, 3 Aug. 2022 The Prom was also called distasteful for curating the scene of a teenager being bullied for ‘coming out’ as goofy. Shelby Denise Smith, Essence, 28 Sep. 2022 Rock had made a distasteful joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith. ELLE, 2 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distasteful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of distasteful was in 1607

Dictionary Entries Near distasteful

Cite this Entry

“Distasteful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distasteful. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


dis·​taste·​ful dis-ˈtāst-fəl How to pronounce distasteful (audio)
: causing displeasure : unpleasant, disagreeable
distastefully adverb
distastefulness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on distasteful

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