Definition of unsociable in US English:



  • 1Not enjoying or making an effort to behave sociably in the company of others.

    ‘Terry was grumpy and unsociable’
    • ‘However, an even worse attitude is shown by his mother, who dares to question the distribution of leaflets justifiably vilifying her unsociable son.’
    • ‘It is possible that the smaller dog felt threatened all the more so because he was held on a tight leash; alternatively, he may simply be unsociable.’
    • ‘The same survey suggests we are rearing a generation of unsociable and reticent youngsters.’
    • ‘Thus you appear somewhat unsociable and aloof.’
    • ‘We also have our own animal behaviourist, so if there are problems, she also takes a lot of the dogs in agility training, which is quite amazing because very often it is your most unsociable dog that takes to agility.’
    • ‘She said that lately you've become quiet, unsociable, just… odd.’
    • ‘You are absolutely the most rude, unsociable, uncivilized person I know!’
    • ‘For someone whose lifelong tendency in human interaction has ranged from detached to to unsociable and sometimes all the way to bitchy, it's very strange to find myself becoming pleasant, cordial, and downright nice.’
    • ‘Even twenty seven years into the past, you're still that quiet, unsociable, ghostlike little twit who sits in the back in math class and draws pictures of beings with emerald wings and golden eyes.’
    • ‘Marshall plays unsociable, awkward detective Luke Stone, and his senior officer and partner is played by Amanda Donohoe.’
    • ‘Once settled into this one, in tune with its surly, unsociable central character, columnist and freelance reporter Frank Corso, the reader will be reluctant to set the book aside, even for meals.’
    • ‘An Englishwoman, who met him in Burma, where his main intellectual pursuit was reading the Adelphi magazine, thought him ‘brusque and unsociable with no small talk’.’
    • ‘Second, of course, is that I'm notoriously unsociable anyway.’
    • ‘Manet was charming, with a richer, warmer, more responsive personality; the unsociable, caustic Degas was guarded and hostile.’
    • ‘A lonely man,… shy, distrustful, unsociable, irritable and brusque.’
    • ‘There are farmers who are a worry because they stay at home, become unsociable and withdraw.’
    • ‘He lost his hair, wrote with a trembling hand and later became withdrawn and unsociable - mercury poisoning can do this to you.’
    • ‘That's the point of me being rude and cold and unsociable.’
    • ‘They were serious alcoholics, each consuming a bottle of brandy a day, so Hugh kept them company in the habit of drinking, not to seem unsociable, and enjoyed beating them at ping-pong.’
    • ‘You'd think a little boy this popular would forget about a girl who was quiet and unsociable like him, but no… He would always find a way to make sure I wasn't alone, wasn't left out.’
    unfriendly, unamiable, unaffable, uncongenial, unneighbourly, inhospitable, hostile, unapproachable, reclusive, introverted, solitary, private, misanthropic, uncommunicative, unforthcoming, reticent, reserved, withdrawn, aloof, distant, remote, detached, stand-offish, unsocial, antisocial, taciturn, silent, quiet, sulky, mopey, mopish, uncivil, rude, cold, cool, chilly, frigid, haughty, suspicious, distrustful, scowling, glowering
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    1. 1.1 Not conducive to friendly social relations.
      ‘watching TV is a fairly unsociable activity’
      • ‘It is completely unsociable behaviour which is totally unacceptable.’
      • ‘Officers recognise their job means working unsociable hours, but we are worried it could lead to overload.’
      • ‘Many key workers are shift workers and no consideration has been given as to how are they meant to get to and from work at unsociable hours.’
      • ‘Waiting staff and catering assistants don't only have to put up with occasionally rude customers and unsociable working hours, but they're not even paid all that well to make up for it.’
      • ‘‘It would seem inevitable that bigger tankers will be required and these may be forced to travel outside working hours and collect milk at unsociable hours,’ said Senator Kenneally.’
      • ‘Parents have known it all along - but it seems today's teenagers are worse than ever when it comes to unsociable habits.’
      • ‘In addition, the Connery household apparently play loud music at unsociable hours and generally ‘stomp about’.’
      • ‘It's unsociable behaviour which we have to deal with in the best way we can.’
      • ‘We choose to work these hours, albeit unsociable, to fit in with other commitments, ie: children, working partners and running homes, and you must agree that the hours offered to us are not family-friendly.’
      • ‘The government took a strong view on this and smoking was now looked upon unsociable, the first time since the 1930's when it was glamorous to smoke.’
      • ‘He went on: ‘Although drink driving has now become unsociable, it's about time that we accept that people driving in a sleepified state should also be social outcasts.’’
      • ‘Shift workers throughout North Yorkshire rely on private transport to commute during unsociable hours.’
      • ‘Mr Boxall said the Fireworks Regulations 2004 introduced a series of measures to tackle the nuisance caused by fireworks, including a ban on noisy ones and fireworks being set off in unsociable hours.’
      • ‘We don't think it is reasonable to pay the enhanced rates paid for unsociable hours working when people are off sick and I know that many other organisations follow a similar principle.’
      • ‘The figure compares favourably with the 100 per cent average for the hotel and catering industry, where unsociable hours and shift work make it a short-term job option for many people.’
      • ‘He had enjoyed a good salary for working unsociable hours and the abundant free time during the day for his private research projects.’
      • ‘And courier firms, despite employing lots of people to drive unsociable hours through the night to fulfil next day deliveries, flatly refuse to deliver anywhere outside of 9-5.’
      • ‘But a staff source said today the letter had fuelled uncertainty about the future of the traditional service where many of the 100 wardens are over 40 and do not work the unsociable shifts covered by the younger PCSOs.’
      • ‘Despite the unsociable behaviour of some, which was particularly off-putting to visitors to the Halloween Fair this often ‘dreaded’ time of the year passed off reasonably well.’
      • ‘Not only is their action unsociable but it also displays an irreverence to the memory of the dead soldiers it commemorates and a disrespect for those people who have spent so much time and money on looking after the monument.’
      solitary, lonely, companionless, unaccompanied, by oneself, on one's own, alone, all alone, friendless
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There is some overlap in the use of the adjectives unsociable, unsocial, and antisocial, but they also have distinct core meanings. Generally speaking, unsociable means ‘not enjoying, or avoiding, the company of others’: Terry was grumpy and unsociable. Antisocial can be used as a synonym for unsociable, but can further be used to mean ‘contrary to the laws and customs of a society’: aggressive and antisocial behavior. Unsocial can be used as a synonym for unsociable as well, but it may also denote a preference for solitude and not hostility toward company: Ben's feeling a little tired and unsocial tonight