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

The early deadline was originally billed as a way of protecting clubs, preventing players from being unsettled by transfer activity after the start of the season. SI.com, "Man City Make Innovative Summer Transfer Deadline Proposal at Premier League Meeting," 13 Sep. 2019 Dorian’s possible paths forward were as expansive as they were unsettled. New York Times, "Along Hurricane Dorian’s Tortured Path, Millions Are United in Fear," 2 Sep. 2019 But in announcing Fields as the official starter Monday, Day also said the backup quarterback battle was unsettled between Gunnar Hoak and Chris Chugunov. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland.com, "Justin Fields is Ohio State’s starting quarterback, now how do the Buckeyes keep it that way? Doug Lesmerises," 22 Aug. 2019 Some viewed that experience as useful with the country still reeling from revolution, at a time when Tunisia was unsettled by protests, political assassinations, and terrorist attacks. BostonGlobe.com, "Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi dies at 92," 26 July 2019 What unsettles the markets more than the tariffs themselves is uncertainty about where this unnecessary trade war is headed. Eugene Robinson, The Mercury News, "Robinson: Trump’s trade war with China may spell his electoral defeat," 1 Sep. 2019 When ridden, scooters emerged as sidewalk bullies — fast enough to unsettle pedestrians and create safety issues. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "Scooters are a huge problem for cities. No one knows how to solve it yet," 30 Aug. 2019 Only two starting jobs were unsettled after preseason camp, one due to the slow return of Trevon Bradford from offseason foot surgery. oregonlive.com, "Oregon State linebacker Andrzej Hughes-Murray lost indefinitely due to foot injury, other surprises on the Beavers’ first two-deep of 2019," 26 Aug. 2019 Given that every trip up the mountain poses life-or-death risks to even the most experienced of climbers, the act of sending locals to retrieve trash left behind by visitors is an unsettling one. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "Nepal Is Banning Single-Use Plastics on Mount Everest," 23 Aug. 2019

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

11 Oct 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

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