[uhn-tawrd, -tohrd]


unfavorable or unfortunate: Untoward circumstances forced him into bankruptcy.
improper: untoward social behavior.
Archaic. froward; perverse.

Nearby words

  1. untouchability,
  2. untouchable,
  3. untouchables,
  4. untouched,
  5. untouristy,
  6. untraceable,
  7. untracked,
  8. untrained,
  9. untrammeled,
  10. untrammelled

Origin of untoward

First recorded in 1520–30; un-1 + toward

Related formsun·to·ward·ly, adverbun·to·ward·ness, noun

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

Examples from the Web for untoward

British Dictionary definitions for untoward



characterized by misfortune, disaster, or annoyance
not auspicious; adverse; unfavourable
unseemly or improper
out of the ordinary; out of the way
archaic refractory; perverse
obsolete awkward, ungainly, or uncouth
Derived Formsuntowardly, adverbuntowardness, 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 untoward



1520s, "not having inclination" (to or for something), also "difficult to manage, unruly," from un- (1) "not" + toward.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper