kempt

[kempt]

Origin of kempt

before 1050; Middle English; Old English cemd- past participle of cemban to comb1; see unkempt
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Examples from the Web for kempt

Historical Examples of kempt


British Dictionary definitions for kempt

kempt

adjective
  1. (of hair) tidy; combedSee also unkempt

Word Origin for kempt

C20: back formation from unkempt; originally past participle of dialect kemb to comb
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 kempt
adj.

"well-combed, neat," late 14c., from past tense of dialectal kemb, from Old English cemdan (see unkempt). A rare word after c.1500; any modern use probably is a whimsical back-formation from unkempt.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper