9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uhn-set-l] /ʌnˈsɛt l/
verb (used with object), unsettled, unsettling.
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), unsettled, unsettling.
to become unfixed or disordered.
Origin of unsettle
1535-45; un-2 + settle1
2. upset, disturb, unbalance, confuse, disconcert. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unsettle
  • They weren't afraid to unsettle the students, and they weren't so concerned with whether the students liked them.
  • The prospect of a new grammar school is likely to unsettle the coalition.
  • Both courses of action could unsettle the markets, and neither would be right.
  • He is confronted with questions of choice that unsettle complacency.
  • But such unhurried build-up works to immerse and unsettle us.
  • Be warned, many of these rides may unsettle your stomach.
  • Oddly, his air of distraction doesn't seem to unsettle anyone around him.
  • Over the years, his style changes in seemingly dramatic ways that often disturb or unsettle his loyal fan base.
  • Anything that happens there can unsettle the other, much smaller, nations that cluster around it.
  • Also, a simple change in your activity and use of the area may disturb and unsettle them thereby discouraging their return.
British Dictionary definitions for unsettle


(usually transitive) to change or become changed from a fixed or settled condition
(transitive) to confuse or agitate (emotions, the mind, etc)
Derived Forms
unsettlement, 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 unsettle

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
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