From Middle English uncouth, from Old English uncūþ (unknown; unfamiliar; strange), from Proto-West Germanic *unkunþ, from Proto-Germanic *unkunþaz (unknown), equivalent to un- +‎ couth.


  • IPA(key): /ʌnˈkuːθ/
  • (file)
    Rhymes: -uːθ


uncouth (comparative uncouther or more uncouth, superlative uncouthest or most uncouth)

  1. (archaic) Unfamiliar, strange, foreign.
    Antonym: (obsolete) couth
  2. Clumsy, awkward.
    Synonym: fremd
  3. Unrefined, crude.
    Synonyms: impolite; see also Thesaurus:impolite
    Antonym: couth
    • 1699, Samuel Garth, The Dispensary, Canto IV, line 204:
      Harsh words, though pertinent, uncouth appear: / None please the fancy, who offend the ear.
    • 2014, James Lambert, “A Much Tortured Expression: A New Look At `Hobson-Jobson'”, in International Journal of Lexicography, volume 27, number 1, page 58:
      If Yule found it delightful, why did Kipling find it uncouth?
    • 2021 May 10, Ian Prasad Philbrick, quoting Brian Fallon, “‘We May Not Have a Full Two Years’: Democrats’ Plans Hinge on Good Health”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      “I don’t think it’s uncouth to talk about it. I think it’s a reality that has to inform the urgency with which we approach those issues.”

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