[ uhn-prom-uh-sing ]
See synonyms for unpromising on Thesaurus.com
  1. unlikely to be favorable or successful, as the weather, a situation, or a career.

Origin of unpromising

First recorded in 1625–35; un-1 + promising

Other words from unpromising

  • un·prom·is·ing·ly, adverb

Words Nearby unpromising

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use unpromising in a sentence

  • The dogs came slowly to meet Mackenzie as he approached, backs still bristling, countenances unpromising.

  • They, too, used colors and applied great art principles to this unpromising mode of expression and accomplished great results.

  • On the death of the grandson of the old Lord Byron in 1794, this unpromising youth became the heir-apparent to the barony.

  • There was a dangerous glint in his grey-green eyes, and his opening sentence was unpromising.

    The Secret Glory | Arthur Machen

British Dictionary definitions for unpromising


/ (ʌnˈprɒmɪsɪŋ) /

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

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