- not settled; not fixed or stable; without established order; unorganized; disorganized: an unsettled social order; still unsettled in their new home.
- continuously moving or changing; not situated in one place: an unsettled life.
- wavering or uncertain, as in opinions or behavior; unstable; erratic: an unsettled state of mind.
- not populated or settled, as a region: an unsettled wilderness.
- undetermined, as a point at issue; undecided; doubtful: After many years the matter was still unsettled.
- not adjusted, closed, or disposed of, as an account, estate, or law case.
- liable to change; inconstant; variable: unsettled weather.
Origin of unsettled
SynonymsSee more synonyms for unsettled on Thesaurus.com
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.
1, 3. stable.
- 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.
- to become unfixed or disordered.
Origin of unsettle
SynonymsSee more synonyms for unsettle on Thesaurus.com
2. upset, disturb, unbalance, confuse, disconcert.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for unsettled
If these issues raise uncomfortable questions for Democrats, Clinton has reasons not to be too unsettled.Want President Hillary? Then Primary Her
November 24, 2014
They were the women voters who turned to the GOP in the past when things got unsettled internationally.Dems Desperately Seeking the Gender Gap
October 28, 2014
The details of exactly what Obama would do and how many people stood to get legal status were unsettled.Why Obama Won't Act on Immigration
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
September 2, 2014
Unsettled by the reality that the cops can't help them, Oakland residents are hiring private patrols.The Daily Beast’s Best Longreads, June 14, 2014
The Daily Beast
June 14, 2014
Now we are learning that it is not just sleepless nights looking after Prince George that may have unsettled his mood.Hacking Trial Delivers an Unwelcome Christmas Present For William and Kate
December 19, 2013
Really it's been interesting, the jolliest time of my life, and it's got me all unsettled.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
It has been said that unsettled questions have no pity for the repose of nations.
Expose him to the stimulus of necessity in an unsettled country.Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle
H. N. Brailsford
Then he walked slower, his face still clouded but unsettled.The Innocent Adventuress
Mary Hastings Bradley
People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
- 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
- (usually tr) to change or become changed from a fixed or settled condition
- (tr) to confuse or agitate (emotions, the mind, etc)
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper