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[uhn-bi-kuhm-ing] /ˌʌn bɪˈkʌm ɪŋ/
detracting from one's appearance, character, or reputation; unattractive or unseemly:
an unbecoming hat; unbecoming language.
Origin of unbecoming
First recorded in 1590-1600; un-1 + becoming
Related forms
unbecomingly, adverb
unbecomingness, noun
unapt, unsuitable, unfit. See improper. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unbecoming
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I am indeed concerned to find her ladyship behave in so unbecoming a manner.

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 Henry Fielding
  • It 50 would be unbecoming in me to be more diffuse on this subject.

  • It was not unbecoming to her; on the contrary, she got rosy all over, her eyes were like candles.

  • I cannot bear cynicism, Joe; there is no quality so unbecoming to a gentleman.

    The Burning Spear John Galsworthy
  • Nothing in his language or behaviour is unbecoming the guardian of the beautiful Charmides.

    Charmides Plato
  • We are either glad or sorry at a gift, and both emotions are unbecoming.

    Essays, Second Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • I wanted to regulate my feelings which, I told him, were in an unbecoming state of confusion.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • I trust that an unbecoming jealousy of my privileged position had nothing to do with it.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
  • Then you must allow that you have committed an unbecoming action.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
British Dictionary definitions for unbecoming


unsuitable or inappropriate, esp through being unattractive: an unbecoming hat
when postpositive, usually foll by of or an object. not proper or seemly (for): manners unbecoming a lady
Derived Forms
unbecomingly, adverb
unbecomingness, 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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Word Origin and History for unbecoming

1590s, from un- (1) "not" + becoming "fitting."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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