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[uhn-fit] /ʌnˈfɪt/
not fit; not adapted or suited; unsuitable:
He was unfit for his office.
unqualified or incompetent.
not physically fit or in due condition.
Biology. pertaining to an organism or population that is not adapted to prevailing conditions or is not producing offspring in sufficient numbers to maintain its contribution to the gene pool of the next generation.
verb (used with object)
to render unfit or unsuitable; disqualify.
Origin of unfit
1535-45; un-1 + fit1
Related forms
unfitness, noun
1. inappropriate, unapt. 2. incapable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unfit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The pear is a native of Europe and Asia, and, in its natural state, is quite as unfit for the table as the crab-apple.

    Soil Culture J. H. Walden
  • The unfit brought in for strength are weakness and destruction.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • This is unjust, and especially so, because many of these teachers are unable and unfit for teaching.

  • This craft was unfit for her duty, but time pressed, and no better offered.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • One man stood in the ranks at that moment who was unfit to touch even the border of that national emblem.

    Uncle Sam's Boys in the Ranks H. Irving Hancock
British Dictionary definitions for unfit


(postpositive) often foll by for. unqualified, incapable, or incompetent: unfit for military service
(postpositive) often foll by for. unsuitable or inappropriate: the ground was unfit for football
in poor physical condition
Derived Forms
unfitness, 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 unfit

1540s, "not suitable" (in reference to things), from un- (1) "not" + past participle of fit (see fit (adj.)). Related: Unfitness. In reference to persons or human qualities, attested from 1550s. The verb meaning "to render unfit" is recorded from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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