that impresses favorably; engaging or attractive: a confident and prepossessing young man.

Origin of prepossessing

First recorded in 1635–45; prepossess + -ing2
Related formspre·pos·sess·ing·ly, adverbpre·pos·sess·ing·ness, nounun·pre·pos·sess·ing, adjectiveun·pre·pos·sess·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unprepossessing

Historical Examples of unprepossessing

  • Despite this evidence of a hasty toilet in semidarkness, he was not unprepossessing.

    Keziah Coffin

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Altogether it was as unprepossessing a place as I had ever seen.

    The Silent Bullet

    Arthur B. Reeve

  • Yes, and her mother, if the older woman be such, is not at all unprepossessing.

  • This, from their unprepossessing appearance, we were not well-disposed to do.

    In the Eastern Seas

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Beneath an unprepossessing exterior she has a heart of gold.

    The Belovd Vagabond

    William J. Locke

British Dictionary definitions for unprepossessing



not creating a favourable impression; unattractive



creating a favourable impression; attractive
Derived Formsprepossessingly, adverbprepossessingness, 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 unprepossessing

1816, from un- (1) "not" + prepossessing.



1640s, "causing prejudice," present participle adjective from prepossess. Opposite meaning "causing agreeable first impression" first recorded 1805.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper