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

distasteful or unpleasant to look at: an unsightly wound; unsightly disorder.

Origin of unsightly

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at un-1, sightly
Related formsun·sight·li·ness, noun

Synonyms for unsightly

Antonyms for unsightly

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

Examples from the Web for unsightly

Contemporary Examples of unsightly

Historical Examples of unsightly

  • A wreath of roses was tried on, but this too was so unsightly that I refused to wear it.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • It was unsightly; but how to repair the injury was the question.

  • The reverse, unsightly side of the picture he would not so much as glance at.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • All the winter they are dead, unsightly roots, hidden in the earth.

    Out of the Deep

    Charles Kingsley

  • Above all, she should avoid the presence of disagreeable and unsightly objects.

    The Physical Life of Woman:

    Dr. George H Napheys

British Dictionary definitions for unsightly



unpleasant or unattractive to look at; ugly
Derived Formsunsightliness, 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 unsightly

early 15c., "displeasing to the eye," from un- (1) "not" + sight + -ly (1). Cf. Middle Dutch onsichtlijc "invisible; ugly," Middle High German unsihtlih "invisible." Related: Unsightliness. Middle English sightlie is attested from mid-15c. but only in the sense "visible;" sightly as "pleasing to the eye" is from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper