un·​sat·​is·​fac·​to·​ry ˌən-ˌsa-təs-ˈfak-t(ə-)rē How to pronounce unsatisfactory (audio)
: not satisfactory
unsatisfactorily adverb
unsatisfactoriness noun

Example Sentences

He was fired for unsatisfactory performance. an unsatisfactory first attempt at building a birdhouse
Recent Examples on the Web That version struck Wheater as unsatisfactory. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2023 Four stars, outstanding; three stars, excellent; two stars, very good; one star, good; no stars, unsatisfactory. Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago Tribune, 3 Oct. 2022 But that’s unsatisfactory, Neville says. Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2021 Impulsive purchases might prove unsatisfactory. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 22 May 2021 That process seems to be the issue the commission has with Twitter’s unsatisfactory report. Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 9 Feb. 2023 Previous attempts by Trump's attorneys to identify and return documents proved unsatisfactory to investigators. Josh Dawsey, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Dec. 2022 Previous attempts by Trump’s attorneys to identify and return documents proved unsatisfactory to investigators. Anchorage Daily News, 7 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unsatisfactory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1650, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unsatisfactory was circa 1650

Dictionary Entries Near unsatisfactory

Cite this Entry

“Unsatisfactory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsatisfactory. Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

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