un·​be·​com·​ing ˌən-bi-ˈkə-miŋ How to pronounce unbecoming (audio)
: not becoming
an unbecoming dress
especially : not according with the standards appropriate to one's position or condition of life
unbecoming conduct
unbecomingly adverb
unbecomingness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for unbecoming

indecorous, improper, unseemly, unbecoming, indelicate mean not conforming to what is accepted as right, fitting, or in good taste.

indecorous suggests a violation of accepted standards of good manners.

indecorous behavior

improper applies to a broader range of transgressions of rules not only of social behavior but of ethical practice or logical procedure or prescribed method.

improper use of campaign contributions

unseemly adds a suggestion of special inappropriateness to a situation or an offensiveness to good taste.

remarried with unseemly haste

unbecoming suggests behavior or language that does not suit one's character or status.

conduct unbecoming to an officer

indelicate implies a lack of modesty or of tact or of refined perception of feeling.

indelicate expressions for bodily functions

Examples of unbecoming in a Sentence

That color is very unbecoming on her. boorish behavior that is unbecoming to an officer
Recent Examples on the Web There is no denying that Donald Trump has engaged in behavior that is unacceptable and unbecoming of any leader — let alone a president of the United States. Maggie Astor, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Sep. 2023 To have lived through an encompassing albeit unbecoming love and have survived it with all the parts of herself intact feels like a triumph. Vulture, 12 Apr. 2022 But again and again, the Quatuor Diotima tore into music of unforced content with unbecoming fury. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 5 Apr. 2022 This dog-run infighting is unbecoming in the presence of a dog that was once painted by Edgar Degas. Curbed, 20 July 2022 The sheriff’s internal review of the Floyd meme concluded that Ritchie engaged in unbecoming conduct, immoral conduct and discrimination. Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Nov. 2022 The Rutgers existence was unbecoming of an NBA franchise. Bob Ryan, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Nov. 2022 This code red of a Game 2 (7:37, ESPN) comes after the Padres slugged four home runs off Scherzer in a 7-1 throttling, in Game 1 of this wild-card series most unbecoming of a juggernaut. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 8 Oct. 2022 In Ukraine, it is seen as unbecoming to speak too much of oneself. Kate Tsurkan, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2022

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

Word History

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unbecoming was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near unbecoming

Cite this Entry

“Unbecoming.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unbecoming. Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​be·​com·​ing ˌən-bi-ˈkəm-iŋ How to pronounce unbecoming (audio)
: not becoming
an unbecoming dress
especially : unsuitable, improper
unbecoming conduct
unbecomingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on unbecoming

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