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

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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

Also, they’ve been unsettled at the coordinator positions in recent years, adding to the challenge. Joe Kay, The Seattle Times, "With wait over, Bengals hire Zac Taylor as coach," 4 Feb. 2019 Markets were also unsettled by a monthslong brawl on Capitol Hill over federal funding culminating in a 16-day government shutdown in October. David Harrison, WSJ, "Timeline of Significant Fed Events in 2013," 11 Jan. 2019 The latest wave of selling came as investors grew increasingly unsettled by the prospects for China’s economy and the cost of President Donald Trump’s aggressive trade policies. Alex Veiga, The Seattle Times, "US stocks tumble in early trade after global markets slide," 23 Oct. 2018 But Liverpool seemed unsettled by Roma’s aggression and struggled for rhythm early on, a problem exacerbated when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was forced off early on with a knee injury. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Salah, Liverpool Overwhelm Roma, But Leave Door Open for Another UCL Comeback," 24 Apr. 2018 His answers unsettle her more than the possibility of talking to a ghost. Randy Rosenthal, The Seattle Times, "A grieving widow stalks her dead husband through the streets of Havana," 2 Aug. 2018 The standoff has unsettled investors, who have sold off Italian debt in recent months, pushing up the country’s borrowing rates. Colleen Barry, The Seattle Times, "Italy’s doesn’t budge in clash with EU over budget deficit," 13 Nov. 2018 On the other hand, fellow native outlet AS claim the Eagles are very much in the running for the 31-year-old, with interest having unsettled their number one shot-stopper. SI.com, "Crystal Palace 'Preparing for Court' in Effort to Sign Spanish Goalkeeper From Getafe," 12 Jan. 2018 Their reaction to big data, harvested from and about them, can be unsettled or downright hostile. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Drones of Tomorrow Have a Data Problem," 11 May 2017

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

24 May 2019

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 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unsettle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unsettle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unsettle

Spanish Central: Translation of unsettle

Nglish: Translation of unsettle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unsettle

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to mark by some ceremony or observation

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