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unsteady

[uhn-sted-ee] /ʌnˈstɛd i/
adjective
1.
not steady or firm; unstable; shaky:
an unsteady hand.
2.
fluctuating or wavering:
an unsteady flame; unsteady prices.
3.
irregular or uneven:
an unsteady development.
verb (used with object), unsteadied, unsteadying.
4.
to make unsteady.
Origin of unsteady
1525-1535
1525-35; un-1 + steady
Related forms
unsteadily, adverb
unsteadiness, noun
Synonyms
1. See unsettled. 2. vacillating, flickering.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unsteadily
Historical Examples
  • unsteadily he touched the lever and his ill-omened craft forged ahead.

  • You—you find a child—you leave a woman, she said unsteadily.

    Iole Robert W. Chambers
  • He rose to his feet, so unsteadily that his chair fell over with a bang.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • unsteadily as she spoke, there was so strange a power in her voice that Theo obeyed her.

    Theo Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • She could scarcely keep from spilling the wine, the glass wavered so unsteadily in her hand.

  • The clouds had lifted as he walked swiftly but unsteadily onward.

    Border Ghost Stories Howard Pease
  • They glared on one another—he fiercely and unsteadily; she firmly and proudly.

    Christie Johnstone Charles Reade
  • "Bless me, Mother," he said unsteadily, all the fun gone out of his face.

    Red Pepper Burns Grace S. Richmond
  • The third time he said, unsteadily: "She has been gone three-quarters of an hour."

    The Slayer Of souls Robert Chambers
  • "You must have your drollery," he said, unsteadily, at length.

    Under the Rose Frederic Stewart Isham
British Dictionary definitions for unsteadily

unsteady

/ʌnˈstɛdɪ/
adjective
1.
not securely fixed: an unsteady foothold
2.
(of behaviour, etc) lacking constancy; erratic
3.
without regularity: an unsteady rhythm
4.
(of a manner of walking, etc) precarious, staggering, as from intoxication
verb -steadies, -steadying, -steadied
5.
(transitive) to make unsteady
Derived Forms
unsteadily, adverb
unsteadiness, 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 unsteadily

unsteady

adj.

1590s, from un- (1) "not" + steady (adj.). Cf. Old Frisian unstadich, German unstätig, Middle Dutch onstadich.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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