un·​seem·​ly | \ ˌən-ˈsēm-lē How to pronounce unseemly (audio) \

Definition of unseemly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not seemly: such as
a : not according with established standards of good form or taste unseemly bickering
b : not suitable for time or place : inappropriate, unseasonable



Definition of unseemly (Entry 2 of 2)

: in an unseemly manner

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Other Words from unseemly


unseemliness \ ˌən-​ˈsēm-​lē-​nəs How to pronounce unseemliness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for unseemly


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 unseemly in a Sentence

Adjective He spent unseemly amounts of money on himself. an unseemly interest in their host's income and expenses
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That, of course, is why a cluttered home is both so common in America and so unseemly. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "The End of Minimalism," 8 June 2020 Kirkpatrick said attacking the health care law during the new coronavirus health crisis is especially unseemly. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "House Democrats rip Trump administration over latest health care challenge," 6 May 2020 Neighbors complained about unseemly customers hanging around the theater. Katie Shepherd, BostonGlobe.com, "Last erotic theater closes in Portland, Ore., where ‘porn palaces’ once transformed city," 7 Mar. 2020 But to do so would require commandeering thousands of test kits each week for millionaire pro athletes and support staff, something many view as unseemly, especially when ordinary Americans are waiting in line. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: May 1-2," 3 May 2020 Bring up everything embarrassing, unseemly and bad. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Ex-Diamondback Trevor Bauer says '70 percent' of MLB pitchers cheat," 27 Feb. 2020 Baseball inoculates itself against unseemly behavior by means of rules that, although unwritten, are not unenforced, as Hinch and Martinez demonstrated. George Will, National Review, "In Baseball, the Most Valuable Rules Are Unwritten," 30 Oct. 2019 Ford ordered an internal investigation of Iacocca, apparently looking for evidence of fraud, gambling or other unseemly behavior, but turned up nothing. Donald Woutat, latimes.com, "Lee Iacocca, father of the Ford Mustang who later rescued Chrysler, dies at 94," 2 July 2019 The past week's performance was disappointing and the losses unseemly, but that doesn’t mean it’s time yet for Louisville fans to hit the panic button on the season. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "Morning Coffee: It's not yet time to hit the panic button for Louisville basketball," 18 Feb. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unseemly

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The first known use of unseemly was in the 14th century

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Statistics for unseemly

Last Updated

14 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unseemly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unseemly. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for unseemly


How to pronounce unseemly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unseemly

formal : not proper or appropriate for the situation : not seemly


un·​seem·​ly | \ ˌən-ˈsēm-lē How to pronounce unseemly (audio) \
unseemlier; unseemliest

Kids Definition of unseemly

: not polite or proper unseemly behavior

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More from Merriam-Webster on unseemly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unseemly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unseemly

Spanish Central: Translation of unseemly

Nglish: Translation of unseemly for Spanish Speakers

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