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uncouth

[uhn-kooth]
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adjective
  1. awkward, clumsy, or unmannerly: uncouth behavior; an uncouth relative who embarrasses the family.
  2. strange and ungraceful in appearance or form.
  3. unusual or strange.
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Origin of uncouth

before 900; Middle English; Old English uncūth (see un-1, couth2); cognate with Dutch onkond
Related formsun·couth·ly, adverbun·couth·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. discourteous, rude, uncivil. 3. odd, unfamiliar.

Synonym study

1. See boorish.

Antonyms

1. courteous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for uncouth

uncouth

adjective
  1. lacking in good manners, refinement, or grace
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Derived Formsuncouthly, adverbuncouthness, 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

Word Origin and History for uncouth

adj.

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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper