Definition of unfit in US English:



  • 1predicative (of a thing) not of the necessary quality or standard to meet a particular purpose.

    ‘the land is unfit for food crops’
    • ‘The container was unfit for its intended purpose, having no internal door handle or other means of escape and no external light or other means of drawing attention to the emergency.’
    • ‘Glasgow City Council's secure unit in Ayrshire is ageing and unfit for its purpose.’
    • ‘Option three would mean the staining of low risk red meat by-products on the grounds that they too were unfit for human consumption and could be fraudulently diverted into the human food chain.’
    • ‘In a report, officers said many of the council's buildings were ‘of a poor standard, unattractive to young people, and some are unfit for purpose’.’
    • ‘There's no question that Scottish children are eating meat that is unfit for human consumption and potentially dangerous.’
    • ‘It means the cockle quality has never been tested so the molluscs are deemed unfit for human consumption.’
    • ‘I could see nothing in the state of the club that would have allowed him to declare it unfit for play under the current rules.’
    • ‘An estimated 60,000 children in Yorkshire and Humberside are living in homes classified as being unfit for human habitation, a leading housing charity has warned.’
    • ‘‘It is unfit for human habitation and is being boarded up on the grounds of public health,’ said the 35-year-old.’
    • ‘In August, the landlord removed the entire stairwell, prompting City of Montreal building inspectors to declare her apartment unfit for habitation.’
    • ‘Instead, the official said, the marines had apparently broken UN seals of containers of low-grade uranium that the Iraqis had been allowed to keep because it was unfit for weapons use.’
    • ‘Until I was 11 years old we lived next door to the surgery, which was purpose built although rather unfit for its function.’
    • ‘This is why he can eat food that others often deem is unfit for human consumption, and still find it delicious.’
    • ‘The complainant explained that the sheep had recently been wormed and vaccinated so the meat is unfit for human consumption.’
    • ‘They advised the farmers to use canal water as the underground water was unfit for agriculture purpose.’
    • ‘Farmers had been using underground water to irrigate cotton and paddy crops even though underground water was unfit for agricultural use due to high fluoride contents.’
    • ‘In fact, by international standards, it is unfit for human consumption because of its high acidity.’
    • ‘As a doctor, I am often asked why people buy computer hardware that turns out to be totally unfit for the purpose for which it was obtained.’
    • ‘The same runoff going into the river, diluted with 73 percent less water, would have seriously deteriorated water quality until it was unfit for human contact.’
    • ‘We all know that lakes Rotorua and Taupo are seriously degenerating, with algal blooms in some places and water quality that is unfit for human contact.’
    unsuitable for, unsuited to, inappropriate to, ill-suited to, ill-adapted to, unequipped for, inadequate for, unprepared for, unfitted for, not designed for, ineligible for, unworthy of
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) not having the requisite qualities or skills to undertake something competently.
      ‘she is unfit to have care and control of her children’
      • ‘Kenneth Grant, prosecuting, said Peterson had been claiming income support and housing and council tax benefits after declaring she was unfit for work.’
      • ‘The 51-year-old has been told by a West Yorkshire police medical officer that he is unfit for front line duties.’
      • ‘The former clerk of a small town council who was paid more than a Cabinet Minister was ordered to repay £195,000 yesterday after a judge told him he was unfit for public office.’
      • ‘It's likely that in the European Parliament, the U.S. president would be considered unfit for his job on account of his religious beliefs.’
      • ‘The manner of Hollingworth's departure offers resounding evidence that he was unfit for the position.’
      • ‘They accepted the findings of a psychiatrist that she was unfit for work, and would be for some time to come.’
      • ‘He is unfit for the office he holds and should be called on the mat before Congress for this outrage.’
      • ‘Homeless people are usually unfit for any type of labor that doesn't require drunkenly swaying from side to side and ranting incoherently.’
      • ‘The Pentagon today acknowledged that nearly all Iraqi military and police units are simply unfit for battle against insurgents without U.S. help.’
      • ‘The quantity and quality of the food intake make them totally unfit for studies or sports.’
      • ‘There are some people that think they are unfit for the kingdom of God.’
      • ‘While the batters exhibited marked improvements in temperament, they are still unfit for the long haul.’
      • ‘It is because we can see how they run their own party and how they respond to such crises, that we can see that they are unfit for office.’
      • ‘If that's what Costa wants, he's unfit for office.’
      • ‘Little extra comment is required beyond observing that anyone who believes that the simple election of a Labour government in itself transforms a country are themselves clearly unfit for office.’
      • ‘He just lost a job he was unfit for in the first place.’
      • ‘If they are over the drink-drive limit they are unfit for duty.’
      • ‘Shuttleworth had claimed benefit saying she was unfit for work, but had been working when she made her claim.’
      • ‘This conduct was outrageous and confirms he is demonstrably unfit for office.’
      • ‘Jenny Macklin, yesterday demonstrated that - like her hospitalised leader - she is unfit for high office.’
      unsuitable for, unsuited to, inappropriate to, ill-suited to, ill-adapted to, unequipped for, inadequate for, unprepared for, unfitted for, not designed for, ineligible for, unworthy of
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Biology (of a species) not able to produce viable offspring or survive in a particular environment.
      • ‘Species become unfit to survive in changing environments.’
  • 2(of a person) not in good physical condition, typically as a result of failure to exercise regularly.

    • ‘Physically unfit women at unhealthy weights have higher chronic disease risk.’
    • ‘There has been for some time, a general consensus that ‘large’ people are unfit, unhealthy, fat and slobby because they eat too much.’
    • ‘Diabetes can run in families but can also be developed, particularly by the elderly, and people who are overweight and unfit.’
    • ‘I've reversed my deterioration into becoming a mid-30s bloater, and am now merely slightly overweight and unfit.’
    • ‘This is why a fit person can do more exercise without getting breathless than an unfit person can.’
    • ‘The federal government is concerned with an epidemic of overweight, unfit Canadians.’
    • ‘Alabama is one of the leaders in numbers of overweight and unfit people.’
    • ‘He's a Chilean hero, cruelly held here for more than a year, in squalor, against his will, while mentally weak and physically unfit.’
    • ‘But I don't think there is a great need for gnashing and wailing of teeth over people like me who are slightly overweight, slightly unfit.’
    • ‘Seven backpackers briefly detained along with the eight taken by the rebels said they were allowed to go because they were physically unfit or lacked sturdy walking shoes.’
    • ‘The lower ranges are for unfit or frail persons who are just beginning an exercise program.’
    • ‘There are three common reasons for a player being weary: the player is sick, didn't sleep or is physically unfit.’
    • ‘While physically unfit people can bowl high scores, they're not the ones who master the game and last.’
    • ‘It's not usually dangerous, but it can be if someone is unfit and has an existing condition or already has a bowel condition.’
    • ‘And there was me, overweight, unfit, in my old clothes.’
    • ‘Jocks respect physical prowess and look down on unfit people for being weak and lazy.’
    • ‘I really think I need to do some exercise, at the moment I'm seriously unfit.’
    • ‘And when we're at home, according to Colm, we're overweight, unfit, drink too much and the weather is lousy.’
    • ‘This is a result of an unhealthy lifestyle, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, smoking and being physically unfit.’
    • ‘As to the form of exercise, it is clearly undesirable for an unfit person to leap straight into short-term, high-intensity activity.’
    unhealthy, out of condition, out of shape, in poor condition, in poor shape, flabby, debilitated, weak, infirm, decrepit
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verbunfitted, unfitting, unfits

[with object]archaic
  • Make (something or someone) unsuitable; disqualify.

    • ‘Educated young people who had failed to get into university were unfitted by their education and aspirations to enter industry.’
    • ‘And that, Frankfurt says, is what makes it so dangerous: it unfits a person for telling the truth.’
    • ‘He later noted in diary entries written during the draft riots that ‘Wool was unfitted by age for such duties though patriotic and well-disposed.’’
    • ‘But though, like Holmes, Hamlet is cleverer than everyone around him, his emotionalism and his fondness for poetic flights would unfit him as a private detective.’