Definition of antisocial in English:



  • 1Contrary to the laws and customs of society, in a way that causes annoyance and disapproval in others.

    ‘children's antisocial behaviour’
    • ‘Either way issues including antisocial behaviour, community renewal, neighbourhood governance, local government and active citizenship needed addressing by a new, designated minister.’
    • ‘The memo, written two weeks ago, shows that the Prime Minister has taken personal charge of the drive to stamp out antisocial behaviour and has ordered urgent action to prevent a ‘sense of fatalism’ setting in.’
    • ‘Now they are handing out these ridiculous antisocial behaviour orders.’
    • ‘Our aim is to gather intelligence from the local community and to work to tackle long term problems, including crime issues and others such as antisocial behaviour.’
    • ‘She said the boy had already signed an antisocial behaviour contract, under which police and the authorities monitor his actions closely.’
    • ‘They are antisocial because the way society is organized doesn't appeal to them and they want change.’
    • ‘A popular Clapham bar under the spotlight for complaints about antisocial behaviour suffered a fresh setback after a customer was stabbed in the back during a fight.’
    • ‘This in turn helps society by reducing crime and antisocial behaviour.’
    • ‘We are targeting these youths using new powers given to us under the antisocial behaviour legislation.’
    • ‘And it is no reason to focus on the technology in such a laser-like manner that everything else about antisocial behaviour, crime and society is completely ignored.’
    • ‘Since its formation, membership has blossomed, while incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour on the estate - one of the city's largest residential areas - have dropped dramatically.’
    • ‘One resident, who did not want to be named, said there was growing concern among the community that the end of the zone and police curfew powers could lead to yet another summer of antisocial behaviour, continuing noise, and disturbance.’
    • ‘Teenagers often get away with outrageous and antisocial behaviour because it's believed to be hormonal and a natural part of adolescence.’
    • ‘The dispersal orders have worked in other areas, resulting in a reduction of antisocial behaviour.’
    • ‘‘He seems to know his behaviour is antisocial and that it is abhorrent to other members of society,’ said Mrs Wood.’
    • ‘The UK government's obsession with tackling antisocial behaviour is making society even more lonely and fragmented.’
    • ‘Although it might just seem like harmless fun to some young people, this behaviour is antisocial and genuinely intimidating to residents and we will not tolerate it.’
    • ‘We will also be tackling antisocial behaviour such as criminal damage.’
    • ‘In contrast, the antisocial behaviour of children who did not have psychopathic tendencies was mainly influenced by environmental factors.’
    • ‘The warning is part of a major drive to rid the estate of its image as a centre of vandalism and antisocial behaviour, and to improve residents' quality of life.’
    objectionable, offensive, beyond the pale, unacceptable, unsocial, asocial, distasteful
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Psychiatry Relating to or having an antisocial personality disorder.
      • ‘About 3 percent of men and about 1 percent of women have antisocial personality disorder, with much higher percentages among the prison population.’
      • ‘Evidence suggests that conduct disorders in general lead directly to externalizing disorders such as adult antisocial personality disorder and alcoholism.’
      • ‘The combination of impulsive sensation-seeking and aggression was also related to antisocial personality disorder among male prisoners and to level of cocaine abuse.’
      • ‘High rates of parental antisocial personality disorder, substance abuse, and maternal depression have been found in boys referred to clinics for aggressive behavior.’
      • ‘We should also look for issues of revenge in people with personality disorders with antisocial features or a history of solving problems by resorting to physical assault or violence.’
  • 2Not sociable or wanting the company of others.

    • ‘I've been accused of being antisocial so many times it's amazing I even have friends.’
    • ‘It really is okay to be introverted and antisocial for a couple weeks at a time, so don't feel pressured to be a social butterfly because of some arbitrary rule you've set for yourself.’
    • ‘Do not be fooled my antisocial friends, the day has dawned on a new era of acceptance for anti-social behaviour.’
    • ‘But this afternoon he had risked his life to help her and he almost did loss it, she figured she could at least be friends with him but how do you make friends with someone so antisocial?’
    • ‘Sometimes he wondered why she married such an antisocial, introverted man.’
    • ‘Does Jerry withdraw because he is antisocial, or because he cannot hear what is being said around him?’
    • ‘Bessie was wildly sociable; Jack was antisocial.’
    • ‘But it has made me really antisocial and isolated.’
    • ‘He had always done his best to keep himself to himself and had often taken criticism from others for being so antisocial and insular in the past.’
    • ‘But is all of our time online turning us into antisocial hermits?’
    • ‘Once they got a closer look at how scientists work, we thought, they might form more realistic impressions that would contradict traditional images of science as isolated and antisocial.’
    • ‘They may be withdrawn, mistrustful, aggressive, antisocial.’
    • ‘Apart from the fact that I would never have any friends, don't you think this is a bit antisocial?’
    • ‘Behaviour changes which might point to problems of this nature include spending a lot more time on the Internet than usual, becoming withdrawn and antisocial, or guarded and morose.’
    • ‘I'm therefore viewing it in a far more solitary, antisocial way, on my computer, and I'm watching it alongside computer texts, often texts that relate to, back up or expand my understanding of the TV show.’
    • ‘But don't assume that packing food means lunch hours secluded in our cubicles like antisocial moles or hermits.’
    • ‘While these friendships tend to be less stable than those between non-drug-using and nonantisocial peers, real friendships between antisocial adolescents exist.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Lacey is an existentialist who always is antisocial and lonely and blames everyone but herself for it.’
    • ‘I was very antisocial and didn't really want friends.’
    • ‘Even around his best friend, he was still antisocial and shy.’
    unsociable, misanthropic, unwilling to mix with other people, unfriendly, uncommunicative, unforthcoming, reserved, withdrawn, retiring, reclusive
    View synonyms


On the difference in use between antisocial, unsocial, and unsociable, see unsociable