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

Other Words from undesirable


undesirability \ ˌən-​di-​ˌzī-​rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce undesirable (audio) \ noun
undesirableness \ ˌən-​di-​ˈzī-​rə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce undesirable (audio) \ noun
undesirably \ ˌən-​di-​ˈzī-​rə-​blē How to pronounce undesirable (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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Fees are regulatory measures that are intended to raise revenue but may also act as a deterrent to engaging in a particular activity deemed undesirable. Roxanne Bland, Forbes, 6 June 2022 Bacteria that are undesirable prefer an acidic environment. The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 May 2022 Without intention, a piece of medium-density fiberboard is just another cheap material, considered undesirable by most furniture makers — but with energy and emotion behind it, this piece of faux wood becomes a Ryan Preciado original. Julissa Jamesstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2022 To deal with immediate shortages in supply, the continent will likely be forced to fall back on a mix of undesirable but proven fuels such as coal and nuclear. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Mar. 2022 However, there are downsides that make silicones undesirable in conditioners. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Apr. 2022 For small companies, niche industries, new ventures, expansion efforts or businesses in undesirable locations, the door has suddenly opened to greater possibilities resulting in a level playing field for both employers and employees. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 In a room rife with anti-Semitic invective, he is now pegged as an undesirable, someone not categorically White, which is news, sort of, to him. Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2022 Instead, the Cavs have tumbled out of the Eastern Conference’s top six and down to seventh -- one of the four undesirable Play-In Tournament slots. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 26 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The attention of his fear was undesirables, including Jews. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, 16 May 2020 This amazing little machine fights pollutants, mold, dander, and other airborne undesirables with technology that works at the molecular level. Tony Vaz, Popular Science, 9 Mar. 2020 The Constitution protects desirables and undesirables alike. Phil Gramm And Michael Solon, WSJ, 14 Jan. 2020 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, 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, 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, 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, 31 Dec. 2019 For Lodge and others anxious to restrict immigration, Eastern European Jews were definitely among the undesirables. Adam Hochschild, The New Yorker, 4 Nov. 2019 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near undesirable



undesirable discharge

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Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Undesirable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undesirable. Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for undesirable


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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