[uhn-di-zahyuh r-uh-buh l]


not desirable or attractive; objectionable: undesirable qualities.


a person or thing considered undesirable: a collection of malcontents and undesirables.

Nearby words

  1. undescended testis,
  2. undeserved,
  3. undeserving,
  4. undesigned,
  5. undesigning,
  6. undesirable discharge,
  7. undetected,
  8. undetermined,
  9. undetermined nitrogen,
  10. undeterred

Origin of undesirable

First recorded in 1660–70; un-1 + desirable

Related formsun·de·sir·a·bil·i·ty, un·de·sir·a·ble·ness, nounun·de·sir·a·bly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for undesirable

British Dictionary definitions for undesirable



not desirable or pleasant; objectionable


a person or thing that is considered undesirable
Derived Formsundesirability or undesirableness, nounundesirably, adverb

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

Word Origin and History for undesirable



1660s, "not to be desired, objectionable," from un- (1) "not" + desirable. The noun meaning "undesirable person or thing" is first attested 1883. Undesired "not asked or invited" is recorded from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper