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

Example Sentences

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 Rayl cites as an example a colleague who recently went on parental leave, who might want to leave behind a wiki full of resources, as opposed to trying to squeeze it all into a standard Slack status or offering an inelegant URL to a doc. WIRED, 20 Sep. 2022 Data labeling has always been a kludgy, inelegant part of the modern machine learning pipeline. Rob Toews, Forbes, 12 June 2022 In true Russian tradition, the Kremlin is counting on firepower to compensate for its diminishing troop strength and inelegant command. David Axe, Forbes, 19 May 2022 Many were quick to call it inelegant, unsightly, and decidedly un-Apple. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 25 Mar. 2022 And to a boxing fan M.M.A. might seem inelegant: a mishmash that occasionally resembles a bar fight, with combatants trading haymakers and then collapsing onto the mat to roll around. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, 1 Nov. 2021 The tastiest meals are made with the best ingredients, but that doesn’t mean cooking has to be tedious or inelegant. Anthony Marcusa,, 16 Nov. 2021 Instead, the actor and fitness fanatic goes with an inelegant solution — peeing in a water bottle. Julie Mazziotta,, 12 Nov. 2021 There’s a lot of inelegant exposition and lots of buzzword dropping and exaggerated slang. Ben Rosenstock, Vulture, 15 Oct. 2021 See More

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

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 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



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

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