undesirable

adjective
un·​de·​sir·​able | \ ˌən-di-ˈzī-rə-bəl How to pronounce undesirable (audio) \

Definition of undesirable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not desirable : unwanted undesirable side effects

undesirable

noun

Definition of undesirable (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is undesirable

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from undesirable

Adjective

undesirability \ ˌən-​di-​ˌzī-​rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce undesirability (audio) \ noun
undesirableness \ ˌən-​di-​ˈzī-​rə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce undesirableness (audio) \ noun
undesirably \ ˌən-​di-​ˈzī-​rə-​blē How to pronounce undesirably (audio) \ adverb

Examples of undesirable in a Sentence

Adjective

The drug has some undesirable side effects. This may have undesirable consequences. Frankly, it's an undesirable and unpleasant job.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There is also some evidence in humans to suggest that frequent use of cannabis can cause undesirable effects. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "How Does Cannabis Actually Affect Sex?," 25 Mar. 2019 The scientists theorized that the drug, which can constrict blood vessels, hung around and produced longer-lasting — and in this case undesirable — cardiac effects among the slow metabolizers. Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, "Can Coffee Rev Up Your Workout? It May Depend on Your Genes," 21 Mar. 2018 Those five kinds of common seedling volunteer trees are all messy, undesirable species. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "Volunteering is great but 'volunteer' plants are a whole different story," 1 June 2018 Nine species of gut dwellers, though, never reappeared; instead, there were some undesirable species of bacteria that managed to take hold. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Gut bacteria recover from antibiotics, but they may take six months," 28 Oct. 2018 That prejudice extends to traditional hairstyles, designed as much for practicality as for beauty, but are seen as undesirable by European standards. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "In a Historic Move, New York City Bans Discrimination Based on Hair," 19 Feb. 2019 Certainly, this will be true for highly undesirable jobs: the latrine cleaner can expect a pay bump and an engraved pen. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "Who Really Stands to Win from Universal Basic Income?," 24 Mar. 2014 Unfortunately, too many of us avoid thinking about tomorrow, with potentially dangerous and certainly undesirable consequences. WSJ, "Five Top Ideas About Aging from The Experts in 2018," 4 Jan. 2019 From Day One, Trump's zero-tolerance gambit has clearly been about forcing Congress's hand by creating a hugely undesirable situation at the border. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "The most stunning part of Trump’s separating-families gambit: He seems to have no real plan," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Soon enough Como added bicycles and motorcycles and even random pedestrians to his list of undesirables. Steven Winn, SFChronicle.com, "A loving family remembers the zeitgeist of Como the dog," 2 July 2018 Rohingya, treated as undesirables in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar and denied citizenship, used to flee by sea by the thousands each year until security in Myanmar was tightened after a surge of refugees in 2015 caused regional alarm. Washington Post, "Rohingya refugees rescued after drifting at sea for 9 days," 21 Apr. 2018 The diversity lottery is full of immigrants picked by their governments, in order to get rid of undesirables. Bonkers. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Is the World Done With Liberal Democracy?," 1 June 2018 Rohingya, treated as undesirables and denied citizenship in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, used to flee by sea by the thousands each year until security in Myanmar was tightened after a surge of refugees in 2015 caused regional alarm. Zik Maulana, The Seattle Times, "Rohingya refugees rescued after drifting at sea for 9 days," 21 Apr. 2018 There, infertile women, resisters, and other undesirables (including a character played by Marisa Tomei) are enslaved and forced to clean up radioactive and toxic waste. Christopher Wallenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "How Elisabeth Moss and company plan to carry ‘Handmaid’ forward," 19 Apr. 2018 Rohingya, treated as undesirables in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, used to flee by sea by the thousands each year until security in Myanmar was tightened after an upsurge of refugees in 2015 caused regional concern. Washington Post, "Malaysia intercepts boat carrying Rohingya refugees," 3 Apr. 2018 Rohingya, treated as undesirables in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, used to flee by sea by the thousands each year. Fox News, "Expert doesn't expect new Rohingya boat people exodus," 2 Apr. 2018 But when applied to the mentally ill and other undesirables, the euthanasia movement became tied to the eugenics movement. Grazie Pozo Christie, National Review, "When Does the Right to Die Become the Duty to Die?," 13 Feb. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of undesirable

Adjective

1667, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1883, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about undesirable

Statistics for undesirable

Last Updated

5 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for undesirable

The first known use of undesirable was in 1667

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for undesirable

undesirable

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of undesirable

: bad, harmful, or unpleasant : not worth having or getting : not desirable

undesirable

adjective
un·​de·​sir·​able | \ ˌən-di-ˈzī-rə-bəl How to pronounce undesirable (audio) \

Kids Definition of undesirable

: having qualities that are not pleasing or wanted an undesirable effect

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on undesirable

What made you want to look up undesirable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having no equal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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