awkward, clumsy, or unmannerly: uncouth behavior; an uncouth relative who embarrasses the family.
strange and ungraceful in appearance or form.
unusual or strange.

Origin of uncouth

before 900; Middle English; Old English uncūth (see un-1, couth2); cognate with Dutch onkond
Related formsun·couth·ly, adverbun·couth·ness, noun

Synonyms for uncouth

Synonym study

1. See boorish.

Antonyms for uncouth

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

Examples from the Web for uncouth

Contemporary Examples of uncouth

  • Because while calling a passerby “sexy” may be uncouth, it shouldn't be illegal.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Street Harassment Shouldn’t Be a Crime

    Lizzie Crocker

    October 29, 2014

  • A child who masters the classics will stand apart from the uncouth boors on the school bus.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Few Good Books for Dads

    John Elder Robison

    June 14, 2013

  • Sarkozy is known for running—television crews often film him, sweaty and uncouth, as he jogs in an NYPD t-shirt.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Did Carla Wear Him Out?

    Eric Pape

    July 28, 2009

Historical Examples of uncouth

  • He was the first tragedian of the Comdie, and the most uncouth man in France or anywhere else.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Their uncouth simplicity was, as they say of wines, their race.

  • The sight of these things filled the boy with a respect for the uncouth fellow.

  • For so uncouth a person he was strangely commendable and worthy.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • My own looked so enormous and clumsy and uncouth by comparison.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for uncouth



lacking in good manners, refinement, or grace
Derived Formsuncouthly, adverbuncouthness, noun

Word Origin for uncouth

Old English uncūth, from un- 1 + cūth familiar; related to Old High German kund known, Old Norse kunnr
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 uncouth

Old English uncuð "unknown, uncertain, unfamiliar," from un- (1) "not" + cuð "known, well-known," past participle of cunnan "to know" (see can (v.)). Meaning "strange, crude, clumsy" is first recorded 1510s. The compound (and the thing it describes) widespread in IE languages, cf. Latin ignorantem, Old Norse ukuðr, Gothic unkunþs, Sanskrit ajnatah, Armenian ancanaut', Greek agnotos, Old Irish ingnad "unknown."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper