Whenever describing something that is seldom looked for or desired I often verbalise it with "ill sought after" without hesitating.
(ignore that ill is its own word, the trouble I'm having writing it in the question..is the question)
However, I went to write an email with this phrase and no matter how I wrote it it looked really odd.

ilsought after? I don't think that's a word, maybe I could coin it with a cheeky hyphen
il-sought after? Seems like I'm only negating sought, not the whole phrase
il-sought-after? No, no, I need help now.

So, is there a different prefix I'm supposed to be using? Should sought after be hyphenated? Is there already a phrase that already means this I'm forgetting? (I really like 'sought after', though..)

  • I might use undesirable or unwanted.
    – Anonym
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 3:27
  • I feel it sounds too strong. Like the difference between not liking something, and disliking something. It's just...not sought after [frequently/by most], haha
    – Hashbrown
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 3:32
  • 3
    Perhaps rarely sought after, then.
    – Anonym
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 3:33
  • perhaps. I'll wait to see if anyone else chimes in. Maybe it's my fault for using a strong a term as 'antonym'
    – Hashbrown
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 3:34
  • ill sought-after (to me) sounds like something that if you did seek after it, would bring nothing but pain and suffering.
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 3:50

2 Answers 2


You can simply use "unsought" as an adjective instead.

The product was not sought-after by customers.

The product was unsought by customers.


It depends a bit on why something is not in demand.

Is it just ignored?

Refuse to take notice of or acknowledge; disregard intentionally

Or may it be rarefied?

Distant from the lives and concerns of ordinary people; esoteric

Or plainly obscure?

Not important or well known

Maybe it just went out of fashion and has become irrelevant.

Not connected with or relevant to something


  • I liked rarefied, well suited to what I meant, but it feels pompous to use
    – Hashbrown
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 8:07
  • Unpopular works as well.
    – Bookeater
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 21:13

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