un·​ful·​fill·​ing ˌən-fu̇(l)-ˈfi-liŋ How to pronounce unfulfilling (audio)
 also  -fə(l)-
: not providing happiness or satisfaction : not fulfilling
an unfulfilling job/relationship

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In turn, the work and the DEIB leader’s potential get shrunk to an unfulfilling small size. Ebony Flake, Essence, 22 Dec. 2022 Following the rules of thermal equilibrium, the warmer ingredients have transferred their heat to the cooler ones, making for a handy, portable but ultimately lukewarm and unfulfilling dish. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2022 But the rate — 2.7% in October — can mask the difficulty of a transition that sometimes takes years of working unfulfilling jobs, while forging a new identity and a new purpose beyond serving one’s country. Ben Finley, Fortune, 12 Nov. 2022 But knowing Suspicion’s ultimate mentality helps provide some context about its broad ambitions and unfulfilling execution. Vulture, 4 Feb. 2022 For many, the past two years have prompted a shift in mindset and compelled people to leave unfulfilling jobs that don't align with their values or expectations. Albert Galarza, Forbes, 24 June 2022 The passion and relentlessness that pushes someone to succeed at the highest levels can make the real world feel so unfulfilling. Arkansas Online, 30 Oct. 2022 In the video trend crowding social media feeds since August, many are sharing their dull and unfulfilling view of the 9-to-5, a term many social media posts use more to describe a traditional career than the actual hours worked. Katie Mogg, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Sep. 2022 Russell retired after the ’69 finals, returning for a relatively successful — but unfulfilling — four-year stint as coach and GM of the Seattle SuperSonics and a less fruitful half season as coach of the Sacramento Kings. Jimmy Golen, The Christian Science Monitor, 31 July 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1822, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unfulfilling was in 1822

Dictionary Entries Near unfulfilling

Cite this Entry

“Unfulfilling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfulfilling. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?