out of keeping or place; inappropriate; unbecoming: an incongruous effect; incongruous behavior.
not harmonious in character; inconsonant; lacking harmony of parts: an incongruous mixture of architectural styles.
inconsistent: actions that were incongruous with their professed principles.

Origin of incongruous

First recorded in 1605–15, incongruous is from the Latin word incongruus inconsistent. See in-3, congruous
Related formsin·con·gru·ous·ly, adverbin·con·gru·ous·ness, noun
Can be confusedcongruous congruent incongruous incongruent

Synonyms for incongruous

Antonyms for incongruous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for incongruously

Contemporary Examples of incongruously

Historical Examples of incongruously

  • Barnes was incongruously named when he was given the name of Harry.

  • For an instant, in mid-air, Joe was incongruously aware of all the noises in the Shed.

    Space Platform

    Murray Leinster

  • Then incongruously enough he smiled as he thought of the boy's breaking voice.

    Yule Logs


  • Talleyrand claims, not incongruously, that he acted in Napoleons true interest.


    Joseph McCabe

  • She looked up with an expression that struck him as incongruously triumphant.

    The Builders

    Ellen Glasgow

British Dictionary definitions for incongruously




(when postpositive, foll by with or to) incompatible with (what is suitable); inappropriate
containing disparate or discordant elements or parts
Derived Formsincongruously or incongruently, adverbincongruousness or incongruence, 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

Word Origin and History for incongruously



1610s, from Latin incongruus "incongruous," from in- "not, opposite of, without" (see in- (1)) + congruus "fit, suitable" (see congruent). Related: Incongruously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper