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[uhn-kooth] /ʌnˈkuθ/
awkward, clumsy, or unmannerly:
uncouth behavior; an uncouth relative who embarrasses the family.
strange and ungraceful in appearance or form.
unusual or strange.
Origin of uncouth
before 900; Middle English; Old English uncūth (see un-1, couth2); cognate with Dutch onkond
Related forms
uncouthly, adverb
uncouthness, noun
1. discourteous, rude, uncivil. 3. odd, unfamiliar.
1. courteous.
Synonym Study
1. See boorish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for uncouth
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was the first tragedian of the Comdie, and the most uncouth man in France or anywhere else.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Their uncouth simplicity was, as they say of wines, their race.

  • The sight of these things filled the boy with a respect for the uncouth fellow.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • For so uncouth a person he was strangely commendable and worthy.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • My own looked so enormous and clumsy and uncouth by comparison.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • For the most part they were heavy, frowsy creatures, slatternly and uncouth.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • He was certainly not the rough, uncouth man she had expected to find.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
British Dictionary definitions for uncouth


lacking in good manners, refinement, or grace
Derived Forms
uncouthly, adverb
uncouthness, noun
Word Origin
Old English uncūth, from un-1 + cūth familiar; related to Old High German kund known, Old Norse kunnr
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 uncouth

Old English uncuð "unknown, uncertain, unfamiliar," from un- (1) "not" + cuð "known, well-known," past participle of cunnan "to know" (see can (v.)). Meaning "strange, crude, clumsy" is first recorded 1510s. The compound (and the thing it describes) widespread in IE languages, cf. Latin ignorantem, Old Norse ukuðr, Gothic unkunþs, Sanskrit ajnatah, Armenian ancanaut', Greek agnotos, Old Irish ingnad "unknown."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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