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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unpromising
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The operation was a most unpromising one, but it was clearly the surgeon's duty to try it.

    The History of David Grieve Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • A subscription list that she had opened had a weak and unpromising appearance.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • To the uninitiated a clod of dry earth is the most unpromising of objects—it is cousin to the stone, and the type of barrenness.

    Chapters in Rural Progress Kenyon L. Butterfield
  • But they looked dull and unpromising to the girl as they lay upon the table.

    The Gold Girl James B. Hendryx
  • His remarkable career furnishes one of the many examples of great men coming up from obscure and unpromising conditions of life.

    The Story of American History Albert F. Blaisdell
  • I can only say that the task is both nauseous and unpromising.

    Orley Farm Anthony Trollope
  • They, too, used colors and applied great art principles to this unpromising mode of expression and accomplished great results.

  • As they advanced, the coast became steep, rocky, and unpromising.

    A Book of Discovery Margaret Bertha (M. B.) Synge
  • The coast is rocky and most unpromising, but the interior is said to contain some of the best farming land east of Illinois.

    Acadia Frederic S. Cozzens
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
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Word Origin and History for unpromising

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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