Simple Definition of untoward
: bad or unfavorable : not good
: not proper or appropriate
Examples of untoward in a sentence
There was nothing untoward about his appearance.
<tried to reason with the untoward child>
Did You Know?
More than 700 years ago, English speakers began using the word toward for forward-moving youngsters, the kind who showed promise and were open to listening to their elders. After about 150 years, the use was broadened somewhat to mean simply docile or obliging. The opposite of this toward is froward, meaning "perverse" or "ungovernable." Today, froward has fallen out of common use, and the cooperative sense of toward is downright obsolete, but the newcomer to this series - untoward - has kept its toehold. Untoward first showed up in the 1400s, and it is still used, just as it was then, as a synonym of unruly, though it has since acquired other meanings as well.
First Known Use of untoward
Rhymes with untoward
aboard, accord, afford, award, backboard, backsword, bargeboard, baseboard, billboard, blackboard, boxboard, breadboard, broadsword, buckboard, cardboard, chalkboard, chessboard, chipboard, clapboard, clipboard, concord, corkboard, dashboard, discord, draft board, duckboard, face cord, fjord, flashboard, floorboard, footboard, freeboard, greensward, hardboard, headboard, inboard, keyboard, kickboard, landlord, lapboard, leeboard, matchboard, moldboard, nerve cord, onboard, on board, outboard, packboard, pasteboard, patchboard, patch cord, Peg-Board, pressboard, punchboard, rearward, record, reward, sailboard, scoreboard, seaboard, shipboard, sideboard, signboard, skateboard, slumlord, smallsword, snowboard, soundboard, splashboard, springboard, surfboard, switchboard, tailboard, tote board, wakeboard, wallboard, warlord, washboard, whiteboard, whipcord, word-hoard
UNTOWARD Defined for Kids
Definition of untoward for Students
: unexpected and unpleasant or improper <Perhaps there was sickness in the temple, or some other untoward event … — Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard>
Seen and Heard
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