in·​ap·​pro·​pri·​ate | \ˌi-nə-ˈprō-prē-ət \

Definition of inappropriate 

: not appropriate : unsuitable inappropriate behavior The movie's subject matter is inappropriate for small children.

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Other Words from inappropriate

inappropriately adverb
dressed inappropriately
inappropriateness noun
the inappropriateness of his comments

Examples of inappropriate in a Sentence

We won't tolerate such inappropriate behavior. Her informal manner seemed wholly inappropriate to the occasion.

Recent Examples on the Web

Defense lawyers said that such an instruction, which is common in many criminal cases, is inappropriate in a death penalty case. Matthew Barakat, The Seattle Times, "Jury spares life of soldier convicted of killing wife, cop," 25 Oct. 2018 Sombat said an Election Commission official told him that his pirate costume was inappropriate. Kaweewit Kaewjinda, Fox News, "Thai election officials bar the door to buccaneer activist," 28 Sep. 2018 In 2016, researchers analyzing data from 2010-2011 estimated that 30 percent of antibiotics prescriptions given in US emergency rooms and traditional medical offices were inappropriate. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Doctors fear urgent care centers are wildly overusing antibiotics—for profit," 17 July 2018 After returning to work, Panza said the patient continued his inappropriate behavior and on one occasion before the ear-biting incident, grabbed Garner’s arm. Martha Bellisle, The Seattle Times, "Nurse who lost part of ear in patient assault sues state," 8 Nov. 2018 People with dementia can also experience psychological changes like shifts in personality, depression, anxiety, inappropriate behavior, paranoia, agitation, and hallucinations. Korin Miller, SELF, "What’s the Difference Between Normal Age-Related Memory Decline and Signs of Dementia?," 26 Oct. 2018 These scenarios have ignited a conversation about how men atone for inappropriate behavior. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "People Are Not OK With Louis C.K.'s Return to Comedy After #MeToo Allegations," 28 Aug. 2018 Consultancies say they are trusted advisers—a dig at agency groups, whose media-buying arms have come under fire from advertisers for inappropriate ad placement and undisclosed fees. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Tech Consultants Are the New Mad Men," 9 Nov. 2018 Administration scandals and Trump’s conduct are finally going to be subject to investigation, a prospect that Trump greeted with wildly inappropriate threats. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump’s bizarre post-election press conference, explained," 7 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inappropriate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inappropriate

1804, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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The first known use of inappropriate was in 1804

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More Definitions for inappropriate



English Language Learners Definition of inappropriate

: not right or suited for some purpose or situation : not appropriate or suitable


in·​ap·​pro·​pri·​ate | \ˌi-nə-ˈprō-prē-ət \

Kids Definition of inappropriate

: not right or suited for some purpose or situation inappropriate language

Other Words from inappropriate

inappropriately adverb He dressed inappropriately.


in·​ap·​pro·​pri·​ate | \ˌin-ə-ˈprō-prē-ət \

Medical Definition of inappropriate 

: abnormal inappropriate urinary sodium excretion— K. G. Barry & J. P. Malloy

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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