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 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 And whenever the fetters yield an undesirable result — such as, say, the financial crisis of 2008 — the blame always lands on eternally unfettered capitalism. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Opponents of ‘Unfettered Capitalism’ Are Fighting a Phantom," 22 Nov. 2019 Website operators need to keep track of the undesirable site modifications by protecting system integrity. Wired, "Opinion: Websites Ask for Permissions And Attack Forgiveness," 19 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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 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

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

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Undesirable.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undesirableness. Accessed 22 January 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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