Definition of inhospitable in US English:



  • 1(of an environment) harsh and difficult to live in.

    ‘the inhospitable landscape’
    • ‘In a terrain so inhospitable to a civilization of hunters and gatherers, the Kurds became a race of raiders and traders.’
    • ‘So why would any sane recreational diver seek to dive in such an inhospitable environment?’
    • ‘It is isolated geographically, surrounded by inhospitable landscapes that trap its inhabitants where they are.’
    • ‘This country is basically uninhabitable and extremely inhospitable with the exception of the coastline.’
    • ‘One of the most enduring images of early Arizona is the solitary prospector seeking his fortune in gold in the inhospitable Sonoran Desert.’
    • ‘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 unique geography of two gulfs separated by vast inland tracts of inhospitable country led the early Australian settlers to rely entirely on coastal trading.’
    • ‘Water is in short supply, the soil is barely arable, the terrain often inhospitable.’
    • ‘He was among 700 competitors in a gruelling 150-mile race across some of the most inhospitable terrain in the Sahara Desert.’
    • ‘There's so little fresh water and the volcanic landscape is so inhospitable, only a narrow, unique spectrum of creatures thrive.’
    • ‘It's a harsh, inhospitable area where the people are fighting to survive, keeping cattle, camels and goats on small pockets of arable land.’
    • ‘Tibetans still form a majority of people living in the inhospitable countryside.’
    • ‘It is a harsh, inhospitable land, covered in flies and governed by insufferable temperatures that defies easy civilization.’
    • ‘Many feel it's a memorial to all the hard working men who forged trails through inhospitable blocks of back country.’
    • ‘The exhibition showcases incredible work - done in inhospitable terrain, without laptops, cell phones or machinery.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So why do so many people with so much wealth live in such an inhospitable climate?’
    • ‘And it's the island's lush, vivid greenery which marks it out from the arid, inhospitable, landscapes of Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The figures move carefully and deliberately across inhospitable terrain, picking their way through the dusty, red-rock desert.’
    uninviting, unwelcoming
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) unfriendly and unwelcoming toward people.
      • ‘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.’
      unwelcoming, unfriendly, unsociable, unsocial, antisocial, unneighbourly, uncongenial, cool, cold, chilly, frosty, glacial, aloof, stand-offish, haughty, disdainful, distant, remote, indifferent, offhand
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Late 16th century: French, from in- ‘not’ + hospitable (see hospitable).