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[pree-puh-zes-ing] /ˌpri pəˈzɛs ɪŋ/
that impresses favorably; engaging or attractive:
a confident and prepossessing young man.
Origin of prepossessing
First recorded in 1635-45; prepossess + -ing2
Related forms
prepossessingly, adverb
prepossessingness, noun
unprepossessing, adjective
unprepossessingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unprepossessing
Historical Examples
  • Despite this evidence of a hasty toilet in semidarkness, he was not unprepossessing.

    Keziah Coffin Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Altogether it was as unprepossessing a place as I had ever seen.

    The Silent Bullet Arthur B. Reeve
  • Yes, and her mother, if the older woman be such, is not at all unprepossessing.

  • This, from their unprepossessing appearance, we were not well-disposed to do.

    In the Eastern Seas W.H.G. Kingston
  • Beneath an unprepossessing exterior she has a heart of gold.

    The Belovd Vagabond William J. Locke
  • She was very plain in person, and unprepossessing in manners.

  • The men are tall and powerful, and the women not unprepossessing.

    Stanley in Africa James P. Boyd
  • In the hall he saw her woman, the tall woman with the unprepossessing face.

    The Golden Butterfly Walter Besant
  • Already I had forgotten the unprepossessing garb of the outer man.

    In Search of El Dorado Alexander MacDonald
  • His face was stolid, but not unprepossessing; his bearing, quiet and reserved.

    Quintus Oakes Charles Ross Jackson
British Dictionary definitions for unprepossessing


not creating a favourable impression; unattractive


creating a favourable impression; attractive
Derived Forms
prepossessingly, adverb
prepossessingness, 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 unprepossessing

1816, from un- (1) "not" + prepossessing.



1640s, "causing prejudice," present participle adjective from prepossess. Opposite meaning "causing agreeable first impression" first recorded 1805.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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