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2017 Word of the Year

untoward

[uhn-tawrd, -tohrd] /ʌnˈtɔrd, -ˈtoʊrd/
adjective
1.
unfavorable or unfortunate:
Untoward circumstances forced him into bankruptcy.
2.
improper:
untoward social behavior.
3.
Archaic. froward; perverse.
Origin of untoward
1520-1530
First recorded in 1520-30; un-1 + toward
Related forms
untowardly, adverb
untowardness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for untoward
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He would not have been a Briton if these untoward combinations of events had not made him surly.

  • It would take only an untoward word, a false movement, to start a massacre.

    Slaves of Mercury Nat Schachner
  • He thought not at all of the untoward fortune that had placed him where he stood.

  • Had she been commissioned to tell him of some untoward event?

    We Two Edna Lyall
  • Truly it is untoward, but I wish, my dear aunt, you would not let it trouble you so much.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • The question was how to guarantee themselves from that untoward eventuality?

    Political Women, Vol. 2 (of 2) Sutherland Menzies
  • Let us state that no untoward event disturbed this family meeting.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • He seems to know that some unsettling and untoward event is on the way.

    The Prairie Mother Arthur Stringer
British Dictionary definitions for untoward

untoward

/ˌʌntəˈwɔːd; ʌnˈtəʊəd/
adjective
1.
characterized by misfortune, disaster, or annoyance
2.
not auspicious; adverse; unfavourable
3.
unseemly or improper
4.
out of the ordinary; out of the way
5.
(archaic) refractory; perverse
6.
(obsolete) awkward, ungainly, or uncouth
Derived Forms
untowardly, adverb
untowardness, 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 untoward
adj.

1520s, "not having inclination" (to or for something), also "difficult to manage, unruly," from un- (1) "not" + toward.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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