un·​sat·​is·​fac·​to·​ry | \ ˌən-ˌsa-təs-ˈfak-t(ə-)rē How to pronounce unsatisfactory (audio) \

Definition of unsatisfactory

: not satisfactory

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Other Words from unsatisfactory

unsatisfactorily \ ˌən-​ˌsa-​təs-​ˈfak-​t(ə-​)rə-​lē How to pronounce unsatisfactorily (audio) \ adverb
unsatisfactoriness \ ˌən-​ˌsa-​təs-​ˈfak-​t(ə-​)rē-​nəs How to pronounce unsatisfactoriness (audio) \ noun

Examples of unsatisfactory in a Sentence

He was fired for unsatisfactory performance. an unsatisfactory first attempt at building a birdhouse

Recent Examples on the Web

The commission found the reasoning provided by the Polish authorities as unsatisfactory. Washington Post, "EU to implement new monitoring system to enforce rule of law," 18 July 2019 The officer was subsequently fired from the Mesa Police Department, which cited policy violations and unsatisfactory performance as the reasons. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "Fired ex-Mesa police Officer Philip Brailsford rehired to help him get a public-safety pension," 24 May 2016 The groups argued that then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke violated federal regulations because the government failed to consider the Hammonds’ unsatisfactory record or do proper environmental reviews. Maxine Bernstein, oregonlive.com, "Judge won’t rule until July 17 on request to bar further grazing by Hammond Ranches Inc.," 28 June 2019 Attempts to manufacture ice in India had proved unsatisfactory—not least because the process was highly labour intensive and the product incapable of lasting through the year. Srinath Raghavan, Quartz India, "Imported US ice helped 19th century British officials beat Indian heat waves," 17 June 2019 Multiple reports about South Africa’s captive lion industry have revealed that the animals are often kept in unsatisfactory living conditions. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "More than 100 neglected lions found in a South African breeding facility," 8 May 2019 The calm acceptance of that fact by the Copenhagen interpretation seems to some, and with good reason, to be far too unsatisfactory and complacent. Quanta Magazine, "Why the Many-Worlds Interpretation Has Many Problems," 18 Oct. 2018 In June last year, for example, the social-media giant rolled out a feedback feature as part of an initiative to crack down on e-commerce businesses that advertise products that are unsatisfactory or don’t arrive on time. Lara O’reilly, WSJ, "Facebook Promises to Crack Down on Scam Ads After U.K. Lawsuit," 23 Jan. 2019 At first, this struck me as an unsatisfactory answer. New York Times, "Nan Goldin Survived an Overdose to Fight the Opioid Epidemic," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unsatisfactory.' 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 unsatisfactory

circa 1650, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unsatisfactory

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unsatisfactory

The first known use of unsatisfactory was circa 1650

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More Definitions for unsatisfactory



English Language Learners Definition of unsatisfactory

: not good enough : not satisfactory


un·​sat·​is·​fac·​to·​ry | \ ˈən-ˌsa-təs-ˈfak-tə-rē How to pronounce unsatisfactory (audio) \

Kids Definition of unsatisfactory

: not what is needed or expected His behavior in class has been unsatisfactory.

Other Words from unsatisfactory

unsatisfactorily \ -​rə-​lē \ adverb

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Comments on unsatisfactory

What made you want to look up unsatisfactory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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