un·​set·​tling | \ ˌən-ˈset-liŋ How to pronounce unsettling (audio) , -ˈse-tᵊl-iŋ \

Definition of unsettling

: having the effect of upsetting, disturbing, or discomposing unsettling images of the war

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Other Words from unsettling

unsettlingly \ ˌən-​ˈset-​liŋ-​lē How to pronounce unsettlingly (audio) , -​ˈse-​tᵊl-​iŋ-​ \ adverb

Examples of unsettling in a Sentence

unsettling new developments in the effort to bring peace and stability to that region had the unsettling task of picking out a coffin and making the other funeral arrangements for his father
Recent Examples on the Web But the issue of public back-and-forth between black men troubles many, who find the Murphy-Cosby dispute unsettling. NBC News, "Eddie Murphy-Bill Cosby rift touches on larger concern: Should black men criticize each other publicly?," 31 Dec. 2019 That’s what makes its final moments so unsettling, and so unforgettable. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "Korean export Parasite may be the class-conscious thriller of the year," 9 Oct. 2019 More unsettling, perhaps, is that the shift doesn't just have people in their 20s and 30s delaying life on their own — a smaller share of adults of all ages were living independently in 2017 than in 1980, according to Zillow. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Living on your own is coming later in life for younger Americans," 25 Sep. 2019 The eerily gaunt, nose-less Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) stands out as particularly unsettling, and this is not a coincidence. Ciara Wardlow, The Hollywood Reporter, "Where 'Avengers' Should Have Embraced the Uncanny," 28 Apr. 2018 The first season ended with a harrowing and unsettling encounter for agent Holden Ford (Groff). Mark Dawidziak, cleveland, "‘Watchmen’ and ‘Black Mirror’ among Top 10 TV shows for 2019," 29 Dec. 2019 The show found a warmer reception on Netflix, which brings the stalker drama back with all of quirky, unsettling appeal intact. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'You' Season 2 stalks onto Netflix with a new twisted romance," 26 Dec. 2019 Since the film was released on Dec. 20, viewers have pointed out many glaring and unsettling visual effects in the movie. Tara Law, Time, "In 'Unheard of' Move, Universal Pictures to Reportedly Update 'Cats' With Enhanced Special Effects," 22 Dec. 2019 Those numbers highlight and punctuate what has been an unsettling and uncertain season on the offensive side with Brady trying to pull rabbits out of a hat and watching his completion percentage and the all-time touchdown pass mark vanish instead. BostonGlobe.com, "Essentially, the playoffs begin for the Patriots on Saturday. They start their Super Bowl run from a better starting point than last year.," 20 Dec. 2019

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

1665, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unsettling

Time Traveler

The first known use of unsettling was in 1665

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Statistics for unsettling

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unsettling.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsettling. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for unsettling


How to pronounce unsettling (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unsettling

: making you upset, nervous, worried, etc.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unsettling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unsettling

Spanish Central: Translation of unsettling

Nglish: Translation of unsettling for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unsettling

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


dull or mediocre

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