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unsettle

[uhn-set-l]
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verb (used with object), un·set·tled, un·set·tling.
  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.
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verb (used without object), un·set·tled, un·set·tling.
  1. to become unfixed or disordered.
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Origin of unsettle

First recorded in 1535–45; un-2 + settle1

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

disturbconfuseperturbrattledisquietunnervedisconcertagitatedisorganizedisruptdownjumblediscomposeturndisarraythrowderangerummageruffleneedle

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British Dictionary definitions for unsettle

unsettle

verb
  1. (usually tr) to change or become changed from a fixed or settled condition
  2. (tr) to confuse or agitate (emotions, the mind, etc)
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Derived Formsunsettlement, 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

Word Origin and History for 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper