Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

unsteady

[uhn-sted-ee] /ʌnˈstɛd i/
adjective
1.
not steady or firm; unstable; shaky:
an unsteady hand.
2.
fluctuating or wavering:
an unsteady flame; unsteady prices.
3.
irregular or uneven:
an unsteady development.
verb (used with object), unsteadied, unsteadying.
4.
to make unsteady.
Origin of unsteady
1525-1535
First recorded in 1525-35; un-1 + steady
Related forms
unsteadily, adverb
unsteadiness, noun
Synonyms
1. See unsettled. 2. vacillating, flickering.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for unsteady
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As his hand neared the latch I could see in the dim light that his movements were unsteady.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • The strain upon him had been so great that his nerves and brain were unsteady.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Blandois' hand was unsteady; but he laughed, and that would naturally shake it.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • They were done with some very poor instrument, and hurriedly, with an unsteady hand.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • He looked down at his sister with glittering and unsteady eyes.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • On the street outside I heard it not only in his unsteady laugh but in my own as well.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • The Spaniard rubbed his hands, and Mr. Blood observed that they were unsteady.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for unsteady

unsteady

/ʌnˈstɛdɪ/
adjective
1.
not securely fixed: an unsteady foothold
2.
(of behaviour, etc) lacking constancy; erratic
3.
without regularity: an unsteady rhythm
4.
(of a manner of walking, etc) precarious, staggering, as from intoxication
verb -steadies, -steadying, -steadied
5.
(transitive) to make unsteady
Derived Forms
unsteadily, adverb
unsteadiness, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for unsteady
adj.

1590s, from un- (1) "not" + steady (adj.). Cf. Old Frisian unstadich, German unstätig, Middle Dutch onstadich.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for unsteady

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for unsteady

12
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for unsteady