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90s Slang You Should Know


[in-kong-groo-uh s] /ɪnˈkɒŋ gru əs/
out of keeping or place; inappropriate; unbecoming:
an incongruous effect; incongruous behavior.
not harmonious in character; inconsonant; lacking harmony of parts:
an incongruous mixture of architectural styles.
actions that were incongruous with their professed principles.
Origin of incongruous
First recorded in 1605-15, incongruous is from the Latin word incongruus inconsistent. See in-3, congruous
Related forms
incongruously, adverb
incongruousness, noun
Can be confused
congruous, congruent, incongruous, incongruent.
1. discrepant, unsuitable, ridiculous, ludicrous, absurd. 2. inharmonious, discordant. 3. contrary, contradictory. See inconsistent.
1. becoming, appropriate. 2. consonant. 3. consistent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for incongruous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • An arcade of the time of the Renaissance, extremely beautiful, but incongruous, encloses these carvings.

    Barn and the Pyrenees Louisa Stuart Costello
  • Two incongruous metaphors should not be used in the same sentence.

  • It came to him as a thing absurd and incongruous that this should be his home.

    Marriage H. G. Wells
  • Popular color names are incongruous, irrational, and often ludicrous.

    A Color Notation Albert H. Munsell
  • Another time Jason might have laughed at his incongruous waddle, but not now.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
British Dictionary definitions for incongruous


when postpositive, foll by with or to. incompatible with (what is suitable); inappropriate
containing disparate or discordant elements or parts
Derived Forms
incongruously, incongruently, adverb
incongruousness, incongruence, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for incongruous

characterized by inconsistency

Word Origin

Latin in- + congruere 'to come together''s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for incongruous

1610s, from Latin incongruus "incongruous," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + congruus "fit, suitable" (see congruent). Related: Incongruously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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