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[uh-trak-tiv] /əˈtræk tɪv/
providing pleasure or delight, especially in appearance or manner; pleasing; charming; alluring:
an attractive personality.
arousing interest or engaging one's thought, consideration, etc.:
an attractive idea; an attractive price.
having the quality of attracting.
Origin of attractive
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English attractif (< Middle French) < Late Latin attractīvus of a medicine with drawing power. See attract, -ive
Related forms
attractively, adverb
attractiveness, noun
superattractive, adjective
superattractively, adverb
superattractiveness, noun
unattractive, adjective
unattractively, adverb
unattractiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unattractive
  • She replaced unattractive windows on two sides with pivoting shutters.
  • If the labels are torn or unattractive, remove them and give the cans several coats of paint, letting it dry between coats.
  • Too much is overdeveloped, with large, often unattractive resorts.
  • Not a telephone dating service for unattractive people.
  • People take cars for walkable trips in part because such trips are boring and unattractive.
  • Now in its second year online, the contest pits ten unattractive insects against one another.
  • Buses are unattractive because they may be full and require you to stand.
  • So on your theory that kind of diet could be expected to produce an unattractive smell.
  • We have three equally unattractive alternatives, maybe four.
  • The maharaja dithered for months, unable to decide between two equally unattractive options.
British Dictionary definitions for unattractive


not appealing to the senses or mind through beauty, form, character, etc
not arousing interest: an unattractive proposition


appealing to the senses or mind through beauty, form, character, etc
arousing interest: an attractive opportunity
possessing the ability to draw or pull: an attractive force
Derived Forms
attractively, adverb
attractiveness, 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
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Word Origin and History for unattractive

1729, from un- (1) "not" + attractive. Related: Unattractively; unattractiveness.



late 14c., "absorptive," from Middle French attractif (14c.), from attract-, past participle stem of attrahere (see attract). Meaning "having the quality of drawing people's eye or interest" is from 1580s; sense of "pleasing, alluring" is from c.1600. Related: Attractively; attractiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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