[ uhn-set-ld ]
/ ʌnˈsɛt ld /


Origin of unsettled

First recorded in 1585–95; un-1 + settle1 + -ed2
SYNONYMS FOR unsettled
3 Unsettled, unstable, unsteady imply a lack of fixity, firmness, and dependability. That which is unsettled is not fixed or determined: unsettled weather; unsettled claims. That which is unstable is wavering, changeable; easily moved, shaken, or overthrown: unstable equilibrium; an unstable decision. That which is unsteady is infirm or shaky in position or movement: unsteady on one's feet; unsteady of purpose.
5 indeterminate, unsure.
7 vacillating, fickle, faltering, irresolute.
Related formsun·set·tled·ness, noun

Definition for unsettled (2 of 2)


[ uhn-set-l ]
/ ʌnˈsɛt l /

verb (used with object), un·set·tled, un·set·tling.

to alter from a settled state; cause to be no longer firmly fixed or established; render unstable; disturb: Violence unsettled the government.
to shake or weaken (beliefs, feelings, etc.); cause doubt or uncertainty about: doubts unsettling his religious convictions.
to vex or agitate the mind or emotions of; upset; discompose: The quarrel unsettled her.

verb (used without object), un·set·tled, un·set·tling.

to become unfixed or disordered.

Origin of unsettle

First recorded in 1535–45; un-2 + settle1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unsettled

British Dictionary definitions for unsettled (1 of 2)


/ (ʌnˈsɛtəld) /


lacking order or stabilityan unsettled era
unpredictable; uncertainan unsettled climate
constantly changing or moving from place to placean unsettled life
(of controversy, etc) not brought to an agreed conclusion
(of debts, law cases, etc) not disposed of
(of regions, etc) devoid of settlers
Derived Formsunsettledness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for unsettled (2 of 2)


/ (ʌnˈsɛtəl) /


(usually tr) to change or become changed from a fixed or settled condition
(tr) to confuse or agitate (emotions, the mind, etc)
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 unsettled



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