English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English unsemli, probably a partial calque of Old Norse úsǽmiligr (unseemly); equivalent to un- +‎ seemly. Cognate with Icelandic ósæmileg (offensive), Norwegian usømmelig (unseemly), Danish usømmeligt (unseemly).

Pronunciation edit

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Adjective edit

unseemly (comparative unseemlier, superlative unseemliest)

  1. Inconsistent with established standards of good form or taste.
    He was drunk and made some very unseemly comments.
    • 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne, chapter 10, in The Scarlet Letter, a Romance, Boston, Mass.: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, →OCLC:
      An unseemly outbreak of temper.
    • 1958, Anthony Burgess, The Enemy in the Blanket (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 379:
      Many men, women and children, clothed in bright raiment for the Sabbath, saw with a faint flicker of interest and surprise a very white man on a trishaw, and the driver pedalling with unseemly haste.
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: Asari Codex entry:
      An all female race, the asari reproduce through a form of parthenogenesis. Each asari can attune her nervous system to that of another individual of any gender, and of any species, to reproduce. This capability has led to unseemly and inaccurate rumors about asari promiscuity.
    • 2014 October 21, Oliver Brown, “Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years – sport afforded no protection against his tragic fallibilities: Bladerunner's punishment for killing Reeva Steenkamp is but a frippery when set against the burden that her bereft parents, June and Barry, must carry [print version: No room for sentimentality in this tragedy, 13 September 2014, p. S22]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Sport)[1]:
      [I]n the 575 days since [Oscar] Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, there has been an unseemly scramble to construct revisionist histories, to identify evidence beneath that placid exterior of a pugnacious, hair-trigger personality.

Antonyms edit

Related terms edit

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See also edit

Adverb edit

unseemly (comparative more unseemly, superlative most unseemly)

  1. In an unseemly manner.