un·​set·​tled | \ ˌən-ˈse-tᵊld \

Definition of unsettled

: not settled: such as
a(1) : not calm or tranquil : disturbed unsettled political conditions
(2) : likely to vary widely especially in the near future : variable unsettled weather
(3) : not settled down unsettled dust
b(1) : not decided or determined : doubtful an unsettled state of mind
(2) : not resolved or worked out : undecided an unsettled question
c : characterized by irregularity an unsettled life
d : not inhabited or populated unsettled land
e : mentally unbalanced
f(1) : not disposed of according to law an unsettled estate
(2) : not paid or discharged unsettled debts

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Other Words from unsettled

unsettledness \ ˌən-​ˈse-​tᵊl(d)-​nəs \ noun

Examples of unsettled in a Sentence

We have some unsettled business to attend to. we've been having a lot of unsettled weather lately

Recent Examples on the Web

How the shutdown so quickly shredded the personal safety net of employees at Unispec reflects the razor-thin profit margin and unsettled nature of business for government contracting firms and their employees. Neena Satija, The Seattle Times, "Federal contractors who lost health insurance during shutdown remain in limbo," 28 Jan. 2019 But there is an unsettled piece of health care law where Kennedy’s departure could make a big difference. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Anthony Kennedy’s departure from the Supreme Court could have significant repercussions for health care.," 6 July 2018 But the California decision will definitely shake up the already-unsettled landscape on this subject. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "California Court Ruling Could Be Major Blow to ‘Gig Economy’ Firms," 1 May 2018 The weekend starts off unsettled on Saturday with clouds, showers and a few possible thunderstorms, then Sunday should be dry with a mixture of clouds and sunshine. Gary Lessor, courant.com, "Clouds, Rain And Possible Thunderstorms Friday," 31 May 2018 The move has unsettled lawmakers from both parties. Washington Post, "Trump administration freezes database of addiction and mental health treatments," 7 Mar. 2018 But that outlook for policy is being questioned by many in financial markets, amid an unexpected slowdown in global growth and decidedly unsettled markets. Michael S. Derby, WSJ, "New York Fed Chief Expects Gradual Rate Rises," 19 Nov. 2018 Veteran actor John Parker is a powerful presence as Lyman, the father, whose frequent eruptions and right-wing rants disrupt the already unsettled atmosphere. Tom Titus, latimes.com, "On Theater: A dark and tense family Christmas unfolds in ‘Other Desert Cities’," 20 Mar. 2018 While the trend may be troubling for Democrats, the evolving political landscape remains unsettled two weeks before Election Day, even with millions of votes already cast across 20 states. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Senate slipping away as Dems fight to preserve blue wave," 23 Oct. 2018

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

circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unsettled

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for unsettled

The first known use of unsettled was circa 1586

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More Definitions for unsettled



English Language Learners Definition of unsettled

: feeling nervous, upset, or worried : not comfortable
: not lived in by people : not inhabited or populated
: not yet finally decided or dealt with


un·​set·​tled | \ ˌən-ˈse-tᵊld \

Kids Definition of unsettled

1 : not staying the same unsettled weather
2 : feeling nervous, upset, or worried
3 : not finished or determined unsettled business an unsettled question
4 : not paid an unsettled account
5 : not lived in by settlers unsettled territory

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More from Merriam-Webster on unsettled

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unsettled

Spanish Central: Translation of unsettled

Nglish: Translation of unsettled for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unsettled

What made you want to look up unsettled? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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