untoward was our Word of the Day on 09/07/2016. Hear the podcast!
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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
Whether cruising along or at full-stomp, the 10-speed auto shifted smoothly and crisply with no untoward hiccups, hunting or clunking.
Fanatics owner and 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin has done more than provide lip service, investing time, money and sweat equity in helping his friend escape an untoward situation.
But in the first of the untoward events, in the Fort Washington area of Prince George’s County fire caused about $200,000 in damage, according to the county fire department.
So his reaction is, No one will ever be able to say that there was something untoward.
There would be nothing untoward about such a process.
During an interview televised during NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcast, Mike Tirico asked Timberlake said nothing untoward will happen this time around (the 36 year old’s third time entertaining SB).
This is not all that uncommon Bob so will not be seen as untoward whatsoever.
Several top mushers defended him and echoed his theory that something unknown and untoward was at play in the backwoods of Alaska.
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
balky, contrary, contumacious, defiant, disobedient, froward, incompliant, insubordinate, intractable, obstreperous, rebel, rebellious, recalcitrant, refractory, restive, ungovernable, unruly, wayward, willful (or wilful);
adamant, adamantine, dogged, hardheaded, headstrong, immovable, implacable, inflexible, mulish, obdurate, obstinate, opinionated, peevish, pertinacious, pigheaded, rigid, self-willed, stubborn, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding;
UNTOWARD Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of untoward for English Language Learners
: bad or unfavorable : not good
: not proper or appropriate
UNTOWARD Defined for Kids
Definition of untoward for Students
- Perhaps there was sickness in the temple, or some other untoward event …
- —Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard
Seen and Heard
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