untoward was our Word of the Day on 09/07/2016. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of untoward in a Sentence
There was nothing untoward about his appearance.
tried to reason with the untoward child
Recent Examples of untoward from the Web
On the latest Last Week Tonight, John Oliver turned his attention to Equifax, the credit reporting agency whose name Oliver equated to a theatrical production involving Daniel Ratcliffe as a horse doing something untoward to a fax machine.
Because Kushner has so many points of contact with Russia, his presence encourages the public impression of untoward connections between the White House and Kremlin.
Organizations following this approach design production and storage facilities with significantly smaller probabilities of untoward human and commercial disasters.
Absent a media narrative, Trump Jr. had no sense that there was anything untoward about facilitating a Russian government effort to influence an American election.
Several top mushers defended him and echoed his theory that something unknown and untoward was at play in the backwoods of Alaska.
The Department of City Planning proposed amendments to the city’s Cultural Heritage Ordinance earlier this year to fix the untoward practice.
The reporters spent two weeks looking into Gonzalez but found nothing untoward.
This is not all that uncommon Bob so will not be seen as untoward whatsoever.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'untoward.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
toward and Untoward
More than 700 years ago, English speakers began using the word toward for "forward-moving" youngsters, the kind who showed promise and were open to listening to their elders. After about 150 years, the use was broadened somewhat to mean simply "docile" or "obliging." The opposite of this toward is froward, meaning "perverse" or "ungovernable." Today, froward has fallen out of common use, and the cooperative sense of toward is downright obsolete, but the newcomer to this series—untoward—has kept its toehold. Untoward first showed up as a synonym of unruly in the 1500s, and it is still used, just as it was then, though it has since acquired other meanings as well.
First Known Use of untoward
Synonymsbalky, contrary, contumacious, defiant, froward, incompliant, insubordinate, intractable, obstreperous, rebel, rebellious, recalcitrant, recusant, refractory, restive, ungovernable, unruly, disobedient, wayward, willful (or wilful)
Antonymsamenable, biddable, compliant, conformable, docile, obedient, ruly, submissive, tractable
Related Wordsnoncooperative, uncooperative; insurgent, mutinous; adamant, adamantine, dogged, hardheaded, headstrong, immovable, implacable, inflexible, mulish, negativistic, obdurate, obstinate, opinionated, peevish, pertinacious, pigheaded, rigid, self-willed, stubborn, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding; fractious, restive, uncontrollable, unmanageable, wild; perverse, resistant, wrongheaded; bad, disorderly, errant, misbehaving, mischievous, monkeying, monkeyish, naughty; undisciplined; dissident, nonconformist; discourteous, disrespectful, ill-bred, ill-mannered, ill-natured, impertinent, impolite, impudent, inconsiderate, insolent, ornery, rude, uncivil, uncouth, ungracious, unmannerly
Near Antonymsacquiescent, agreeable, amiable, cooperative, deferential, obliging; yielding; behaved, disciplined, well-bred; courteous, polite, respectful; kowtowing, obsequious, servile, slavish, subservient; decorous, mannerly, orderly, proper; controllable, governable, manageable, trainable
UNTOWARD Defined for English Language Learners
UNTOWARD Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up untoward? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).