[ in-kong-groo-uhs ]
/ ɪnˈkɒŋ gru əs /


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.

Nearby words

  1. inconformity,
  2. incongruence,
  3. incongruency,
  4. incongruent,
  5. incongruity,
  6. inconnu,
  7. inconscient,
  8. inconsecutive,
  9. inconsequence,
  10. inconsequent

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

Examples from the Web for incongruously

British Dictionary definitions for incongruously



/ (ɪnˈkɒŋɡrʊəs) /


(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