adjective, un·seem·li·er, un·seem·li·est.

not seemly; not in keeping with established standards of taste or proper form; unbecoming or indecorous in appearance, speech, conduct, etc.: an unseemly act; unseemly behavior.
inappropriate for time or place: an unseemly hour.


in an unseemly manner.

Nearby words

  1. unsecured,
  2. unseduced,
  3. unseeded,
  4. unseeing,
  5. unseelie,
  6. unseen,
  7. unsegregated,
  8. unselfconscious,
  9. unselfish,
  10. unsell

Origin of unseemly

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at un-1, seemly

Related formsun·seem·li·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unseemly

British Dictionary definitions for unseemly



not in good style or taste; unbecoming
obsolete unattractive


rare in an unseemly manner
Derived Formsunseemliness, 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 unseemly



early 14c., "unfitting, indecent," from un- (1) "not" + seemly. Cf. Old Norse usoemiligr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper