9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uhn-di-zahyuh r-uh-buh l] /ˌʌn dɪˈzaɪər ə bəl/
not desirable or attractive; objectionable:
undesirable qualities.
a person or thing considered undesirable:
a collection of malcontents and undesirables.
Origin of undesirable
1660-70; un-1 + desirable
Related forms
undesirability, undesirableness, noun
undesirably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for undesirable
  • But a single word on the list of undesirable qualities raised flags over here.
  • Another ecological consequence is the invasion of an area by undesirable plants.
  • Then have them draw a picture of an insect that looks scary or ugly or has some undesirable behaviors.
  • However, resource recovery is not without its own undesirable effects, such as pollution from incinerators.
  • Stack several layers of cardboard on top of undesirable or invasive vegetation.
  • When eliminating ants from the home, it's important that you make your home undesirable to them.
  • Maori began to discard as much as half of the bird's weight as undesirable meat or useless material such as feathers.
  • Tin is an undesirable material for a coffee-pot, as tannic acid acts on such metal and is apt to form a poisonous compound.
  • The changes which the example of these leaders brought into the newspapers at large were various, and not all undesirable.
  • One age expresses itself naturally in a form that would be unnatural, and therefore undesirable, in another age.
British Dictionary definitions for undesirable


not desirable or pleasant; objectionable
a person or thing that is considered undesirable
Derived Forms
undesirability, undesirableness, noun
undesirably, 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
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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
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