un·​prom·​is·​ing | \ ˌən-ˈprä-mə-siŋ How to pronounce unpromising (audio) \

Definition of unpromising

: appearing unlikely to prove worthwhile or result favorably an unpromising beginning

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Other Words from unpromising

unpromisingly \ ˌən-​ˈprä-​mə-​siŋ-​lē How to pronounce unpromisingly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of unpromising in a Sentence

Things got off to an unpromising start. She can do a lot with unpromising material.
Recent Examples on the Web The history of live music performance series on YouTube was also unpromising. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "Meet COLORS, a Rising Powerhouse for Music Discovery," 27 Nov. 2019 The company may be smart to wriggle out of unpromising leases, but that could force WeWork to pay penalties. Washington Post, "WeWork’s Path to Survival Is Narrow and Perilous," 25 Nov. 2019 PetroChina’s returns on invested capital are already the worst of the oil majors, and pressure to extract more oil and gas from China’s unpromising geology will make that situation worse. David Fickling | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "This Trade Rally Is One Tweet Away From a Crash," 8 Nov. 2019 Teacher strikes in 2018 brought higher wages and improved working conditions for teachers in such locations as West Virginia, Oklahoma and North Carolina — long considered unpromising grounds for labor activism. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Can labor unions lift themselves off the floor? A new book asks the question," 6 Aug. 2019 Nevertheless, math would seem to be unpromising territory for fiction. Julia M. Klein, chicagotribune.com, "The Catherine Chung equation: math + identity = elegant novel," 21 June 2019 And how will these artists, who had developed in the most unpromising of circumstances, handle the world-wide fame and celebrity that came their way in their 40s and 50s? Ann Landi, WSJ, "‘Ninth Street Women’ Review: Expressing Themselves," 20 Sep. 2018 Teddy’s unpromising fifth cousin—was written off as a rich, foppish lightweight with little more than an aristocratic accent and rich parents. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘Frank and Al’ Review: A Friendship Forged in Albany," 25 Sep. 2018 The unpromising weather nearly persuaded him to call off the attempt, run an ordinary race and save the more intensive effort for a meet in London scheduled 10 days later. Frank Litsky And Bruce Weber, New York Times, "Sir Roger Bannister, First Athlete to Break 4-Minute Mile, Dies at 88," 4 Mar. 2018

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

1640, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unpromising

Time Traveler

The first known use of unpromising was in 1640

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Cite this Entry

“Unpromising.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unpromising. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for unpromising


How to pronounce unpromising (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unpromising

: not likely to be successful or good

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Nglish: Translation of unpromising for Spanish Speakers

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