[uhn-doo, -dyoo]


unwarranted; excessive: undue haste.
inappropriate; unjustifiable; improper: undue influence.
not owed or currently payable.

Origin of undue

First recorded in 1350–1400, undue is from the Middle English word undewe. See un-1, due
Can be confusedundo undue
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for undue

Contemporary Examples of undue

Historical Examples of undue

  • His cousin, M. Charbonnel, got the will reduced on the ground of undue influence.

    A Zola Dictionary

    J. G. Patterson

  • There was an air of undue haste—a precipitancy and rush not all reassuring.

  • As long as they made no undue noise, they were left to their own devices.

    Vulcan's Workshop

    Harl Vincent

  • The mischief is in the blood,—I mean, in the undue distribution of the blood.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • But their attitude arrested him; he felt an undue strain in the air.

    The Man Who Wins

    Robert Herrick

British Dictionary definitions for undue



excessive or unwarranted
unjust, improper, or illegal
(of a debt, bond, etc) not yet payable


The use of undue in sentences such as there is no cause for undue alarm is redundant and should be avoided
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 undue

late 14c., "not owing or payable," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of due (adj.). Formed on model of Old French indeu, Latin indebitus. Meaning "not appropriate, unseasonable" is recorded from late 14c. Sense of "unjustifiable" is attested from c.1400 (implied in unduly). Meaning "excessive" is first recorded 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper