un·​set·​tle | \ ˌən-ˈse-tᵊl How to pronounce unsettle (audio) \
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

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 As if inflation was not enough to unsettle Americans, a serious shortage of baby formula put parents on edge. Richard Galant, CNN, 15 May 2022 The game itself is a scary experience designed to thrill and unsettle. Andy Robertson, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 Thomas' absence would be unlikely to unsettle that majority. NBC News, 20 Mar. 2022 But the movie may unsettle purists who feel that torch needs to be passed around to a more diverse crew of musicians. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 16 Mar. 2022 But they are meant to unsettle a very personal element of the Russian economy, one driven by the reality that Putin’s inner circle and the family members tied to them represent an extraordinary consolidation of wealth and power inside the country. Phil Mattingly, CNN, 23 Feb. 2022 Instead of just following incidents that impact you personally, local apps can flood your phone with an excessive amount of alerts that do more to unsettle than help. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2021 Cusk, too, has written about the ways outsiders unsettle marriages, and about how one person’s isolation complicates social interactions. Claire Jarvis, The New York Review of Books, 9 Feb. 2022 The sketch featured a look at faux Russian propaganda and misinformation unleashed to unsettle the Ukranian people. Mónica Marie Zorrilla, Variety, 29 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of unsettle

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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The first known use of unsettle was in 1598

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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unsettle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsettle. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for unsettle


un·​set·​tle | \ ˌən-ˈse-tᵊl How to pronounce unsettle (audio) \
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on unsettle

Nglish: Translation of unsettle for Spanish Speakers


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