in·​el·​e·​gant (ˌ)i-ˈne-li-gənt How to pronounce inelegant (audio)
: lacking in refinement, grace, or good taste
inelegantly adverb

Examples of inelegant in a Sentence

inelegant teens still learning how to act at formal events inelegant furniture that looked like it belonged in a budget motel
Recent Examples on the Web In this thoroughly elegant and subdued film, Mr. Tu’s mention of an enzyme that penetrates a cell — an evident illustration of how Shuo gained access to their home — may seem like the most inelegant note, until late in the story the one using pity to gain sympathy is someone else. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 22 Jan. 2024 The battery pack is probably the most inelegant element of what is an otherwise unblemished product. Lauren Goode, WIRED, 18 Jan. 2024 But, instead of smoothly exiting stage left, the President takes an inelegant nosedive. Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 25 Jan. 2024 The biggest downside to this solution is that this is an inelegant fix for those who prefer slimmer cardholders. Chuong Nguyen, Ars Technica, 16 Aug. 2023 The need to meet safety standards for road use has also brought inelegant pillars for three-point seatbelts. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 17 Aug. 2023 The striking 19th-century Palacio de las Aguas Corrientes, which takes up an entire block in the Balvanera neighborhood, has an inelegant nickname — the Toilet Museum. Maria Cramer, New York Times, 18 May 2023 An elegant tool with an inelegant name, Crispr-Cas9 has electrified the biotech world. Jeff Wheelwright, Discover Magazine, 2 May 2016 As a tour hatched by a monarchist regime that regularly engages in human rights abuses and political oppression, LIV presented a woefully inelegant but exceptionally well funded vehicle for a legitimate challenge to the PGA Tour’s monopoly power. Scott Nover, Quartz, 6 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inelegant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French, from Latin inelegant-, inelegans, from in- + elegant-, elegans elegant

First Known Use

circa 1570, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of inelegant was circa 1570

Dictionary Entries Near inelegant

Cite this Entry

“Inelegant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​el·​e·​gant (ˈ)in-ˈel-i-gənt How to pronounce inelegant (audio)
: lacking in grace or good taste
inelegantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on inelegant

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