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



Definition of undesirable (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is undesirable

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Other Words from undesirable


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Any further significant increases in hitting distances at the highest level are undesirable. David Dusek, Golfweek, "USGA, R&A report: Gains in distance have golf moving on an unsustainable path," 4 Feb. 2020 This can take many forms, from choosing to adopt children due to a family history of psychosis, or authoritarian governments setting up forced sterilization procedures for anyone deemed undesirable by society. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Harvard Geneticist Wants to Build Dating App That Sure Sounds Like Eugenics," 10 Dec. 2019 Also, some commenters created a toxic atmosphere, engaging in personal attacks and other undesirable behavior. oregonlive, "OregonLive comments: Questions and answers about our decision to eliminate them," 29 Dec. 2019 This was just plain ugly — an exercise in uneven, undesirable, unwatchable football. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions fans have the power to fix this mess: Boycott Thanksgiving," 25 Nov. 2019 The first outcome is undesirable for obvious reasons. Adam Kilgore, The Denver Post, "NFL’s search for the next Sean McVay has created new role: head coach of the defense," 25 Sep. 2019 Like many old-school holiday dishes, eggnog has, in the minds of many, been relegated to the same undesirable category as fruitcake (which, by the way, is delicious when made properly). Al Culliton, Bon Appétit, "The Best Eggnog Tastes Like Melted Ice Cream Mixed With Booze," 13 Dec. 2019 Another lesson is that crypto attracts the best and most desirable people in the world, and also some undesirable people just looking to make money off token projects. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "How Blockchain Will Shake Up the Financial World: 5 Questions for Author Alex Tapscott," 11 Dec. 2019 Every couple of years, Ohio — or one of its cities — lands on the undesirable end of a national survey. Phillip Morris, cleveland, "Where is Mason Rudolph’s helmet when we need it? — Phillip Morris," 1 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Gaiters have been around for centuries, helping people from Anglican deacons to range-riding cowboys prevent dirt, dust, pebbles, twigs bugs, snow, and other undesirables from entering shoes and boots or traveling up pants legs. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Things to Know Before You Buy Gaiters," 8 Jan. 2020 Limited national resources are to be reserved for the French and the French only, as a witch-hunt against refugees, Jews, and other undesirables consumes the country. Harrison Stetler, The New York Review of Books, "‘Collapsologie’: Constructing an Idea of How Things Fall Apart," 21 Jan. 2020 Moreover, the practice of creating lists of political undesirables could be adopted on both sides of the aisle. Phil Gramm And Michael Solon, WSJ, "The Plot to Politicize Banking," 14 Jan. 2020 Even a requirement, to be introduced in 2021, for visa-free entrants to the EU to pre-register online (to weed out undesirables) is a deterrent for some would-be purchasers. The Economist, "Testing times ahead for the booming passports trade," 31 Dec. 2019 For Lodge and others anxious to restrict immigration, Eastern European Jews were definitely among the undesirables. Adam Hochschild, The New Yorker, "When America Tried to Deport Its Radicals," 4 Nov. 2019 Commercially baked items are discouraged due to the high content of undesirables like sugar. Pat Lenhoff, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Are school holiday parties becoming a thing of the past? Should they?," 5 Oct. 2019 Leadingham said online daters need to develop the skills necessary not just to woo others but also to keep undesirables at bay. Los Angeles Times, "Column: You may not be as attractive as that dating site would have you believe," 25 Sep. 2019 The Trump administration sees them as undesirables, an appalling position in direct opposition to long-standing American core values. Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards, The Mercury News, "Editorial: Trump public charge rule undermines the American Dream," 14 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of undesirable


1667, in the meaning defined above


1883, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for undesirable

Time Traveler

The first known use of undesirable was in 1667

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Statistics for undesirable

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Undesirable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undesirable. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for undesirable


How to pronounce undesirable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of undesirable

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


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

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Comments on undesirable

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