Simple Definition of incongruous
: strange because of not agreeing with what is usual or expected
Full Definition of incongruous
Examples of incongruous in a sentence
There is something incongruous about Oslo. —Hugh C. McDonald, The Hour of the Blue Fox, 1975
… it would be as incongruous to meet her at the end of a chapter as it would be to see the dawn break in the west … —Herman Wouk, Aurora Dawn, 1947
He ate enormously, with a zest which seemed incongruous with his spare frame. —Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark, 1915
His outburst seemed incongruous to those who know him well.
<there's an incongruous modernism to the actor's performance in this period piece>
Did You Know?
Incongruous is a spin-off of its antonym, congruous, which means "in agreement, harmony, or correspondence." Etymologists are in agreement about the origin of both words; they trace to the Latin verb congruere, which means "to come together" or "to agree." The dates of the words' first uses in English match up pretty well, too. The first known use of congruous dates from 1599, and the earliest print appearance of incongruous dates from 1611.
Origin and Etymology of incongruous
Late Latin incongruus, from Latin in- + congruus congruous
First Known Use: 1611
INCONGRUOUS Defined for Kids
Definition of incongruous for Students
: not proper, suitable, or in harmony <incongruous colors>
Seen and Heard
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