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[uhn-bi-kuhm-ing] /ˌʌn bɪˈkʌm ɪŋ/
detracting from one's appearance, character, or reputation; unattractive or unseemly:
an unbecoming hat; unbecoming language.
Origin of unbecoming
1590-1600; un-1 + becoming
Related forms
unbecomingly, adverb
unbecomingness, noun
unapt, unsuitable, unfit. See improper. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unbecoming
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had a very bad cold, unbecoming, complicated with fits of sneezing, a cold in the "three handkerchiefs an hour" stage.

    In the Wilderness Robert Hichens
  • I am indeed concerned to find her ladyship behave in so unbecoming a manner.

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 Henry Fielding
  • Because he who will dance on a rope will be alone, and I will gather a stronger mob of people who will say that it is unbecoming.

    Pascal's Penses Blaise Pascal
  • I cannot bear cynicism, Joe; there is no quality so unbecoming to a gentleman.

    The Burning Spear John Galsworthy
  • A taste for sculpture and painting is, in my mind, as becoming as a taste for fiddling and piping is unbecoming, a man of fashion.

  • Nothing in his language or behaviour is unbecoming the guardian of the beautiful Charmides.

    Charmides Plato
  • I have mentioned already that he considered that as unbecoming in a man of education; but there were other reasons also.

    Hania Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • I trust that an unbecoming jealousy of my privileged position had nothing to do with it.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for unbecoming


unsuitable or inappropriate, esp through being unattractive: an unbecoming hat
when postpositive, usually foll by of or an object. not proper or seemly (for): manners unbecoming a lady
Derived Forms
unbecomingly, adverb
unbecomingness, 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
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Word Origin and History for unbecoming

1590s, from un- (1) "not" + becoming "fitting."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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