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 Biden called Hill in April 2019 to apologize for his handling of the matter, but Hill told The New York Times the apology was unsatisfactory. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Anita Hill backs Biden, despite his 'mistakes' in handling her testimony during Clarence Thomas hearings," 6 Sep. 2020 Schools who have returned to in-person instruction, including Ohio State, are currently dealing with unsatisfactory COVID-19 testing results among the student population. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Big Ten football cannot wait on the Pac-12′s uncertain return, regardless of rapid testing win," 4 Sep. 2020 The department announced Monday night that Walker was fired after an investigation, citing unsatisfactory performance and courtesy. Andy Rose, CNN, "South Carolina police officer fired after seen on video using n-word," 1 Sep. 2020 The only way to ever be able to understand what's unsatisfactory about it is to step back from the technology and look at us as a species, to look at us as a planet and ask what is lacking. Michael Calore, Wired, "The Pheromonophone Lets You Reach Out and Smell Someone," 31 Aug. 2020 Have a brief, unsatisfactory argument about notice-giving. Claire Fitzsimmons, Longreads, "Eating To Save My Mind," 10 Aug. 2020 The two seem to be connected, mentally and physically, leading to another unsatisfactory effect: Bad aim, bad resistance, bad results. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Utah Jazz must find what’s been lost in their restart... and soon," 4 Aug. 2020 The country, which maintains close ties with China, said its telecommunications authority had issued a previous warning, but found unsatisfactory results. Washington Post, "It’s not just the United States: These governments see TikTok as a growing problem.," 3 Aug. 2020 In the winter of 1975, a quiet young woman from Lexington, Kentucky, met her Ph.D. adviser in Brown University’s writing program for a series of unsatisfactory tutorials about an ambitious project of hers that had yet to fully reveal itself. Calvin Baker, The Atlantic, "A Literary Movement Unto Herself," 2 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for unsatisfactory

Time Traveler

The first known use of unsatisfactory was circa 1650

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Statistics for unsatisfactory

Last Updated

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unsatisfactory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsatisfactory. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for unsatisfactory


How to pronounce unsatisfactory (audio)

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

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