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Language tip of the week: making someone feel dissatisfied

Written by Liz Potter

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This set of language tips will explore the words and phrases we use to talk about feelings. This week’s tip looks at adjectives that mean making someone feel dissatisfied:



unsatisfying or not satisfying not happening in the way you would like:

  • a highly unsatisfying game
  • It’s not been the most satisfying of days.

unfulfilling an unfulfilling job or situation does not make you feel happy or satisfied, often because you feel it is not important or does not allow you to use your abilities:

  • He finds his job unfulfilling.
  • Are you tired of unfulfilling relationships?

unsatisfactory not as good as you had hoped, or not of a high enough standard:

  • Their performance was unsatisfactory in a number of areas. 
  • It was an unsatisfactory ending to an otherwise good novel.

unrewarding not giving you satisfaction, because you do not feel that you are doing anything useful or important:

  • I felt stuck in an unrewarding job without much to look forward to.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘making you feel dissatisfied‘.

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Liz Potter

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