Sometimes, you sit on a chair has 1 leg or 2 legs a bit shorter than the others. You can push your body back and forward to rock the chair side to side, which makes it hard for you to sit because you can't sit stably on it.

So, do we say "the chair is uneven"?

I have found this word, but I am not sure if native people say "the chair is wobbly" ​

wobbly (adj): not properly fixed in place so that it moves from side to side

a chair with a wobbly leg

a wobbly tooth

  • Yes, we can say that a chair (or a table or other item of furniture) with legs of uneven length is 'wobbly', or, more formally, unstable. Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 8:20
  • But "unstable" sort of sounds like the chair is threatening to fall over or collapse. I'm pretty sure "wobbly" would be fine in any context. Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 8:26
  • A table with one leg shorter than the others is unstable because it is liable to abruptly and unexpectly tip when the distribution of weight on its top is altered, or when someone sitting at the table rests their arm on it, eats from a plate, etc. Drinks may be slopped and other diners annoyed. Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 9:53
  • 4
    Does this answer your question? What do you call a table that is unstable?
    – PeterJames
    Commented Dec 26, 2023 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


"Uneven" describes a surface which is not flat, so it isn't quite the right word to describe a chair.

You might instead use:

  • unstable
  • wobbly

"Wobbly" is the most commonly used. For example, a recent episode of the US TV sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm featured a recurring anecdote about a "wobbly table":

"Nobody likes a wobbly table... I could not live with a wobbly table"

Note though that "wobbly" refers to the fact that the table or chair would not be stable - it would not specifically denote that one leg is shorter than the others. A table or chair could wobble for a number of other reasons, such as the legs not being fixed securely. If you really needed to explain this then you'd have to be specific and say so.

Also, just say "the chair is wobbly". If you said that it had "a wobbly leg" that would suggest that one leg was loose.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .