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See more synonyms for unpromising on Thesaurus.com
  1. unlikely to be favorable or successful, as the weather, a situation, or a career.
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Origin of unpromising

First recorded in 1625–35; un-1 + promising
Related formsun·prom·is·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for unpromising

apocalyptic, prophetic, dangerous, sinister, threatening, perilous, dark, gloomy, dismal, dire, haunting, portentous, grim, troublesome, ominous, hostile, objectionable, calamitous, negative, antagonistic

Examples from the Web for unpromising

Contemporary Examples of unpromising

Historical Examples of unpromising

British Dictionary definitions for unpromising


  1. not showing any promise of favourable development or future success
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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 unpromising


1660s, from un- (1) "not" + promising (see promise).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper