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[uhn-luhv-lee] /ʌnˈlʌv li/
not lovely; without beauty or charm.
harsh or repellent in character; unpleasant; disagreeable; objectionable.
Origin of unlovely
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at un-1, lovely
Related forms
unloveliness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unlovely
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The God of truth cannot love the unlovely in the same way as he loves the lovely.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • How hard is the doing of the thought in the face of a thousand unlovely difficulties!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Never before had the life into which she was born looked so unlovely to her.

    A Singer from the Sea Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • It was an unlovely face, but its unloveliness lay in its expression.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • She speaks bitterly, and turns from him with an unlovely laugh.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
  • What did it matter if the case was unlovely since it held her?

    Mary Gray Katharine Tynan
  • Must I bear the awful burden of authority, that unlovely appendage to youth?

    Ernest Linwood Caroline Lee Hentz
British Dictionary definitions for unlovely


unpleasant in appearance
unpleasant in character
Derived Forms
unloveliness, 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 unlovely

late 14c., "not evoking feelings of love," from un- (1) "not" + lovely. Meaning "ugly" is recorded from 1390s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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