incongruous

play
adjective in·con·gru·ous \ (ˌ)in-ˈkäŋ-grə-wəs \

Definition of incongruous

:lacking congruity: such as
a :not harmonious :incompatible
  • incongruous colors
b :not conforming :disagreeing
  • conduct incongruous with principle
c :inconsistent within itself
  • an incongruous story
d :lacking propriety :unsuitable
  • incongruous manners

incongruously

adverb

incongruousness

noun

incongruous was our Word of the Day on 06/17/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of incongruous in a Sentence

  1. There is something incongruous about Oslo. —Hugh C. McDonaldThe Hour of the Blue Fox1975
  2. … 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 WoukAurora Dawn1947
  3. He ate enormously, with a zest which seemed incongruous with his spare frame. —Willa CatherThe Song of the Lark1915
  4. His outburst seemed incongruous to those who know him well.

  5. there's an incongruous modernism to the actor's performance in this period piece

Recent Examples of incongruous from the Web

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

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


INCONGRUOUS Defined for English Language Learners

incongruous

play
adjective

Definition of incongruous for English Language Learners

  • : strange because of not agreeing with what is usual or expected


INCONGRUOUS Defined for Kids

incongruous

play
adjective in·con·gru·ous \ in-ˈkäŋ-grə-wəs \

Definition of incongruous for Students

:not proper, suitable, or in harmony
  • incongruous colors


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agreeable, attractive, or delicious

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