[ uhn-kempt ]
/ ʌnˈkɛmpt /


not combed: unkempt hair.
uncared-for or neglected; disheveled; messy: unkempt clothes; an unkempt lawn.
unpolished; rough; crude.

Origin of unkempt

1590–1600; variant of unkembed; see un-1, kempt

Related forms

un·kempt·ly, adverbun·kempt·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unkempt

British Dictionary definitions for unkempt


/ (ʌnˈkɛmpt) /


(of the hair) uncombed; dishevelled
ungroomed; slovenlyunkempt appearance
archaic crude or coarse

Derived Forms

unkemptly, adverbunkemptness, noun

Word Origin for unkempt

Old English uncembed; from un- 1 + cembed, past participle of cemban to comb; related to Old Saxon kembian, Old High German kemben 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