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[uhn-sahyt-lee] /ʌnˈsaɪt li/
adjective, unsightlier, unsightliest.
distasteful or unpleasant to look at:
an unsightly wound; unsightly disorder.
Origin of unsightly
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1375-1425; See origin at un-1, sightly
Related forms
unsightliness, noun
unattractive, ugly, disagreeable.
beautiful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unsightly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A wreath of roses was tried on, but this too was so unsightly that I refused to wear it.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • It was unsightly; but how to repair the injury was the question.

  • The reverse, unsightly side of the picture he would not so much as glance at.

    Garrison's Finish W. B. M. Ferguson
  • All the winter they are dead, unsightly roots, hidden in the earth.

    Out of the Deep Charles Kingsley
  • Above all, she should avoid the presence of disagreeable and unsightly objects.

    The Physical Life of Woman: Dr. George H Napheys
  • Even the unsightly sea-cucumber, or sea-slug, is not to be outdone.

  • She got a cloth and began to wipe up the unsightly mass at her feet.

    The Wall Between

    Sara Ware Bassett
  • It is the way with all mothers; the weakest and most unsightly are always their favorites.

British Dictionary definitions for unsightly


unpleasant or unattractive to look at; ugly
Derived Forms
unsightliness, 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 unsightly

early 15c., "displeasing to the eye," from un- (1) "not" + sight + -ly (1). Cf. Middle Dutch onsichtlijc "invisible; ugly," Middle High German unsihtlih "invisible." Related: Unsightliness. Middle English sightlie is attested from mid-15c. but only in the sense "visible;" sightly as "pleasing to the eye" is from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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