Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[uhn-prom-uh-sing] /ʌnˈprɒm ə sɪŋ/
unlikely to be favorable or successful, as the weather, a situation, or a career.
Origin of unpromising
First recorded in 1625-35; un-1 + promising
Related forms
unpromisingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for unpromising
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Spinifex in every direction, and the country very miserable and unpromising.

  • Sydney Carton, idlest and most unpromising of men, was Stryver's great ally.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • He walked by with bent knees, you observed, and with a most unpromising stoop.

  • This was a most unpromising beginning, really no beginning at all.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • To poor Mary this seemed to be most unromantic, most unpromising.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope
  • Sleep came easily to him under the most unpromising circumstances.

    General John Regan George A. Birmingham
  • A subscription list that she had opened had a weak and unpromising appearance.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • But they looked dull and unpromising to the girl as they lay upon the table.

    The Gold Girl James B. Hendryx
  • It was just that, when we were there, though cloudy and unpromising as to weather.

    The Automobilist Abroad

    M. F. (Milburg Francisco) Mansfield
British Dictionary definitions for unpromising


not showing any promise of favourable development or future success
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for unpromising

1660s, from un- (1) "not" + promising (see promise).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for unpromising

Word Value for unpromising

Scrabble Words With Friends