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 The amounts are too small to help significantly but would ladle on more undesirable debt. Ashoka Mody, National Review, "Europe’s Moment of Truth," 29 Apr. 2020 Not only that, but batteries give the bots additional undesirable weight. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "In the Near Future, Robots Will Eat Metal for Energy," 17 Apr. 2020 The high-spec components of the machine are apparently pushing up the value, forcing Sony to move toward undesirable price points to break even. Julie Muncy, Wired, "PlayStation 5 Might Be Hard to Find at Launch," 17 Apr. 2020 If there are unwanted particles in your coffee grinder, that can impart an undesirable moldy or musky flavor to the final cup. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The chemistry of cold-brew coffee is so hot right now," 9 Apr. 2020 Secondary casks can overpower perfectly good whiskey or result in undesirable flavor combinations. John Kell, Fortune, "Whiskey makers are bending the rules for barrel-aging, signaling a new wave for bourbon," 29 Mar. 2020 Greenspon-Rammelt said that SmileDirectClub's network of dentists, not the company itself, is responsible for treatment plans, but said that undesirable results could occur if patients aren’t adhering to the program correctly. NBC News, "'Things didn't feel right': Some SmileDirectClub customers report problems," 13 Feb. 2020 Now, with governments all over the world advising against travel to China, even visiting its airport is an undesirable option for most global travelers. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s woes mean 27,000 Cathay Pacific workers are being asked to go on unpaid leave," 5 Feb. 2020 Exacerbating the problem, off days are front-loaded in the March and April portion of the schedule, which will force teams to forgo precious respites in the hot summer months or resort to undesirable doubleheaders. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "MLB's journey into the unknown: Here's how baseball's coronavirus-delayed season could play out," 12 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The attention of his fear was undesirables, including Jews. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska legislator compares pandemic safety measures at Capitol to Nazi treatment of Jews," 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, "Small but powerful air purifiers," 9 Mar. 2020 The Constitution protects desirables and undesirables alike. Phil Gramm And Michael Solon, WSJ, "The Plot to Politicize Banking," 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, "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

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

2 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Undesirable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undesirable. Accessed 5 Jun. 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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