un·​flat·​ter·​ing | \ ˌən-ˈfla-tə-riŋ \

Definition of unflattering

: not flattering an unflattering portrait especially : unfavorable unflattering remarks

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Other Words from unflattering

unflatteringly \ ˌən-​ˈfla-​tə-​riŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of unflattering in a Sentence

She was wearing the most unflattering outfit.

Recent Examples on the Web

That was one of the most unflattering looks I’ve ever been forced to wear. Bridget Read, Vogue, "How Dan Levy Made the Funniest Show on TV," 16 Jan. 2019 While some of the numbers are unflattering (.259 on-base percentage, 0.1 WAR), the 24-year-old has tapped into his power potential, slugging 13 home runs in 239 at-bats. Dennis Lin, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Best, worst and most surprising from Padres' first half," 12 July 2017 The scandal surrounding the bridge closures and resulting trial weighed on Mr. Christie’s eventual presidential bid and cast his administration in an unflattering light. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "‘Bridgegate’ Convictions Largely Upheld by Appeals Court," 27 Nov. 2018 While unflattering headlines about Meghan Markle's father and half-sister seem to be a weekly occurrence at this point, the Duchess of Sussex is hardly the first royal with a set of unruly relatives. Marcia Moody, Town & Country, "The Tricky Relationship Between the Royal Family and Their In-laws," 29 July 2018 There has been surprisingly little controversy over what may be the most unflattering part of the episode: Mr. Glasgow spent the minutes after the accident trying to commit insurance fraud. New York Times, "From Fighting Injustice to Facing Death Row: The Bizarre Case of Pastor Glasgow," 7 July 2018 His dietary and exercise habits have alarmed some health experts and spurred unflattering comparisons to past occupiers of the Oval Office. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Trump, fast-food lover and exercise avoider, tells nation about importance of fitness," 30 May 2018 But a lack of unflattering facts or a failure by the public to appreciate their existence has never been the foundation of Trump’s political success. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Jim Acosta vs. the Trump White House, explained," 14 Nov. 2018 Nadell sent the Washington Post of an unflattering image from a 13th-century Spanish manuscript that depicted Jewish money lenders handing over bags of coins to unhappy loan seekers. Eli Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Republicans attack Jewish candidates, including Kim Schrier, with an age-old caricature: fistfuls of cash," 6 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unflattering.' 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 unflattering

1581, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unflattering

Last Updated

23 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unflattering

The first known use of unflattering was in 1581

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More Definitions for unflattering



English Language Learners Definition of unflattering

: making someone or something look or seem worse or less attractive : not flattering

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More from Merriam-Webster on unflattering

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unflattering

Spanish Central: Translation of unflattering

Nglish: Translation of unflattering for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unflattering

What made you want to look up unflattering? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


esteemed in general opinion

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