un·​adopt·​able ˌən-ə-ˈdäp-tə-bəl How to pronounce unadoptable (audio)
: not capable of being adopted especially because of having some undesirable trait : not adoptable
The older animals were considered unadoptable.

Examples of unadoptable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The nonprofit is a refuge of last resort for unwanted, unadoptable and special needs animals, which include pythons, monitor lizards, skinks, iguanas, geckos, chameleons, turtles, tortoises and tarantulas. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Sep. 2021 In 2017, Jessica had been working on their case, when they were deemed unadoptable by the judge. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, 15 Feb. 2020 The overly anxious boxer puppy was an unadoptable mess of a dog. Amy McRary, USA TODAY, 7 Mar. 2018 Cristina's creatures run the gamut and include the unadoptable, some elderly pets, and those with such varied medical issues as bladder stones and heartworm-positive diagnoses. Christian Scaffidi, NOLA.com, 9 May 2018 In 1971, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act gave the animals federal protections while allowing the interior secretary to sell or euthanize older and unadoptable animals. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, 6 May 2018 They are often deemed unadoptable because of their age. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 2 Feb. 2018 After sitting in a shelter cage for three months, the tuxedo cat was deemed unadoptable because of a wound between her shoulder blades that would not heal. Kaylee Remington, cleveland.com, 23 Dec. 2017 Philadelphia’s Animal Care and Control Team established the program about four years ago to place unadoptable cats — the biters and the skittish, the swatters and the ones who won’t use a litter box — into jobs as mousers at barns or stables. Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unadoptable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1843, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unadoptable was in 1843

Dictionary Entries Near unadoptable

Cite this Entry

“Unadoptable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unadoptable. Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!