One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of an environment) harsh and difficult to live in.‘the inhospitable landscape’
uninviting, unwelcomingView synonyms
- ‘There's so little fresh water and the volcanic landscape is so inhospitable, only a narrow, unique spectrum of creatures thrive.’
- ‘It is a harsh, inhospitable land, covered in flies and governed by insufferable temperatures that defies easy civilization.’
- ‘They were gray, and the coldness she saw in them was even colder than the freezing, inhospitable tundra that her best friend had come from.’
- ‘The figures move carefully and deliberately across inhospitable terrain, picking their way through the dusty, red-rock desert.’
- ‘It is isolated geographically, surrounded by inhospitable landscapes that trap its inhabitants where they are.’
- ‘Tibetans still form a majority of people living in the inhospitable countryside.’
- ‘But, above all, they will look on with a mixture of pity and disbelief at the poor people who still insist on living in this inhospitable territory.’
- ‘One of the most enduring images of early Arizona is the solitary prospector seeking his fortune in gold in the inhospitable Sonoran Desert.’
- ‘It's a harsh, inhospitable area where the people are fighting to survive, keeping cattle, camels and goats on small pockets of arable land.’
- ‘So why do so many people with so much wealth live in such an inhospitable climate?’
- ‘This country is basically uninhabitable and extremely inhospitable with the exception of the coastline.’
- ‘So why would any sane recreational diver seek to dive in such an inhospitable environment?’
- ‘Water is in short supply, the soil is barely arable, the terrain often inhospitable.’
- ‘The unique geography of two gulfs separated by vast inland tracts of inhospitable country led the early Australian settlers to rely entirely on coastal trading.’
- ‘Separated by the valleys of the north-flowing river Eden and the south-flowing river Lune, these two uplands were inhospitable places for early settlement.’
- ‘And it's the island's lush, vivid greenery which marks it out from the arid, inhospitable, landscapes of Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife.’
- ‘He was among 700 competitors in a gruelling 150-mile race across some of the most inhospitable terrain in the Sahara Desert.’
- ‘Many feel it's a memorial to all the hard working men who forged trails through inhospitable blocks of back country.’
- ‘In a terrain so inhospitable to a civilization of hunters and gatherers, the Kurds became a race of raiders and traders.’
- ‘The exhibition showcases incredible work - done in inhospitable terrain, without laptops, cell phones or machinery.’
2(of a person) unfriendly and unwelcoming towards people.
unwelcoming, unfriendly, unsociable, unsocial, antisocial, unneighbourly, uncongenial, cool, cold, chilly, frosty, glacial, aloof, stand-offish, haughty, disdainful, distant, remote, indifferent, offhandView synonyms
- ‘Nor were its inhabitants ‘a wild and inhospitable people’, of whom it could be said ‘All their habits are the habits of barbarians’.’
- ‘He encountered storms, bogs and forests, was given the cold shoulder by the inhospitable inhabitants of Fouzilhac, got lost and had to camp out for the first time.’
- ‘She lived in Toronto for one year and discovered that English Canadians were not the cold, inhospitable lot she had been led to believe they were.’
Late 16th century: French, from in- ‘not’ + hospitable (see hospitable).
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