un·set·tle | \ ˌən-ˈse-tᵊl \
unsettled; unsettling; unsettles

Definition of unsettle 

transitive verb

1 : to loosen or move from a settled state or condition : make unstable : disorder

2 : to perturb or agitate mentally or emotionally : discompose

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Examples of unsettle in a Sentence

Such a sudden change will unsettle her. the news that the local grocery store had sold contaminated produce unsettled many shoppers

Recent Examples on the Web

Fundamental changes in the technological means of production will furthermore allow goods to be produced on demand, near where they will be used, in ways that can unsettle international order. George P. Shultz, WSJ, "America Can Ride the 21st Century’s Waves of Change," 27 June 2018 The move that could unsettle a team already in robust shape after being unbeaten in qualifying. Bouazza Ben Bouazza, chicagotribune.com, "World Cup Countdown: Tunisia return to the World Cup without key playmaker," 8 June 2018 Both of these incidents unsettle Becca, something that shouldn’t be discounted. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "The Bachelorette Season 14, Episode 2 Recap: Are We Human Or Are We Model?," 5 June 2018 Everton tried to sign Silva in November, unsettling the Portuguese manager enough for Watford to part company with him two months later. SI.com, "Everton Should Take a Risk and Turn to a Young Portuguese Manager – But Not Marco Silva," 16 May 2018 The idea of a producer like the Maple Guild, with its Quebecois investors and 400,000 taps, unsettled a traditionalist like Couture. Jason Wilson, charlotteobserver, "Vermont’s maple syrup business is booming, thanks to technology and changing tastes," 4 May 2018 But a position that was already unsettled now has more questions, at least for Week 1. Zach Berman, Philly.com, "Doug Pederson won a golf bet to put the Eagles in home jerseys on the road | Early Birds," 4 July 2018 The contents of these communications have not been disclosed, but what Brennan learned obviously unsettled him profoundly. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?," 8 July 2018 One case that unsettled him involved a former Memphis-area lawyer who’s now in prison for trying three times to kill his wife, and keeps filing legal actions against her. Sheila Burke, The Seattle Times, "New state law seeks to stop ‘stalking by way of the courts’," 25 June 2018

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

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for unsettle

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unsettle

The first known use of unsettle was in 1598

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More Definitions for unsettle



English Language Learners Definition of unsettle

: to make (someone) nervous, worried, or upset


un·set·tle | \ ˌən-ˈse-tᵊl \
unsettled; unsettling

Kids Definition of unsettle

: to disturb the quiet or order of : upset Spicy food unsettles my stomach. Social changes can unsettle old beliefs.

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Comments on unsettle

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