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unsettle

[uhn-set-l] /ʌnˈsɛt l/
verb (used with object), unsettled, unsettling.
1.
to alter from a settled state; cause to be no longer firmly fixed or established; render unstable; disturb:
Violence unsettled the government.
2.
to shake or weaken (beliefs, feelings, etc.); cause doubt or uncertainty about:
doubts unsettling his religious convictions.
3.
to vex or agitate the mind or emotions of; upset; discompose:
The quarrel unsettled her.
verb (used without object), unsettled, unsettling.
4.
to become unfixed or disordered.
Origin of unsettle
1535-1545
1535-45; un-2 + settle1
Synonyms
2. upset, disturb, unbalance, confuse, disconcert.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for unsettling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Is or is not the story of Robert Elsmere unsettling to one's beliefs?

    Coffee and Repartee John Kendrick Bangs
  • He seems to know that some unsettling and untoward event is on the way.

    The Prairie Mother Arthur Stringer
  • Also, she knew that their reading of the war in Europe had been having an unsettling effect upon both of them.

    The Hills of Desire Richard Aumerle Maher
  • Moments like this were unsettling—and to be guarded against.

    The Tyranny of Weakness Charles Neville Buck
  • From the very beginning he had felt an unsettling, peculiar manner about these people.

    The Book Michael Shaara
British Dictionary definitions for unsettling

unsettle

/ʌnˈsɛtəl/
verb
1.
(usually transitive) to change or become changed from a fixed or settled condition
2.
(transitive) to confuse or agitate (emotions, the mind, etc)
Derived Forms
unsettlement, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unsettling

unsettle

v.

1590s, "undo from a fixed position, from un- (2) + settle (v.). Of the mind, feelings, etc., attested from 1640s. Unsettled "not peaceful, not firmly established" is recorded from 1590s. Meaning "not occupied by settlers" is attested from 1724. Related: Unsettled; unsettling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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