View synonyms for incongruous


[ in-kong-groo-uhs ]


  1. out of keeping or place; inappropriate; unbecoming:

    an incongruous effect; incongruous behavior.

    Synonyms: absurd, ludicrous, ridiculous, unsuitable, discrepant

    Antonyms: appropriate, becoming

  2. not harmonious in character; inconsonant; lacking harmony of parts:

    an incongruous mixture of architectural styles.

    Synonyms: discordant, inharmonious

    Antonyms: consonant

  3. inconsistent:

    actions that were incongruous with their professed principles.

    Synonyms: contradictory, contrary

    Antonyms: consistent


/ ɪnˈkɒŋɡrʊəs /


  1. whenpostpositive, foll by with or to incompatible with (what is suitable); inappropriate
  2. containing disparate or discordant elements or parts

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Derived Forms

  • inˈcongruously, adverb
  • inˈcongruousness, noun

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Other Words From

  • in·congru·ous·ly adverb
  • in·congru·ous·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of incongruous1

First recorded in 1605–15, incongruous is from the Latin word incongruus “inconsistent.” See in- 3, congruous

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

The introduction addresses Mother Night’s general subject of ambiguity and its tone of absurdity, but the author’s first-person reflections on his connection to the material is incongruous with the fictional tale that follows.

From Time

My favorite of all the mega abilities is Rocket’s Five Barrell Barrage which sees him trot out a bulky projectile contraption that looks fabulously incongruous supported by his small frame.

Commissioning this bust, they insisted, was wholly incongruous with the racial reckoning then taking place as the nation fought for abolition and looked toward a Reconstruction process that might guarantee equal rights.

He was increasing the budget for other things, including police and homeless services, so his claim that it was to address the structural budget deficit was a bit incongruous.

The scope and ambition of Posey and Padilla-Brown’s plans suddenly seemed incongruous with the scale of the place in which they were being hatched.

On the small stage, with another hundred people in the audience, sat or stood a rather incongruous group of actors.

Minaj further mystifies her motives by layering these terrifying, offensive visual cues with her own totally incongruous lyrics.

They got smaller and smaller; and the costumes became more and more incongruous and outrageous.

Even those who were not already republicans wanted the royals to be more aware of how incongruous their profligacy seemed.

On its face, Israel surely seems incongruous in this collection, but it could actually fill several important roles.

When he returned to the hotel he kissed his incongruous room-mate with the gentleness of a woman.

The little name sounded so incongruous; it did not suit the big gaunt woman who had almost a touch of the monstrous in her.

In the whole city there was not such another incongruous gathering of activities.

She made him a stately courtesy for the benefit of the three faces glued against the panes, but her words were incongruous.

"I guess I'm not a very—good business manager," faltered the red-lipped voice with incongruous pathos.