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[uhn-kooth] /ʌnˈkuθ/
awkward, clumsy, or unmannerly:
uncouth behavior; an uncouth relative who embarrasses the family.
strange and ungraceful in appearance or form.
unusual or strange.
Origin of uncouth
before 900; Middle English; Old English uncūth (see un-1, couth2); cognate with Dutch onkond
Related forms
uncouthly, adverb
uncouthness, noun
1. discourteous, rude, uncivil. See boorish. 3. odd, unfamiliar.
1. courteous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for uncouth
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He must, indeed, have been terribly alarmed at the uncouth sound he heard.

  • It brought Pedro in with an extraordinary, uncouth, primeval impetuosity.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
  • They are the slowest and least active of all the monkey tribe, and their motions are surprisingly awkward and uncouth.

  • They are uncouth figures, with vague legends and miscellaneous attributes.

    History of Religion Allan Menzies
  • Now, Bumper had never met a wild rabbit before, and this one certainly looked very dirty and uncouth compared to himself.

    Bumper, The White Rabbit George Ethelbert Walsh
  • They were honest, uncouth, simple; they were just like children, the children of the Wild.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • But you know I am but an uncouth Milton manufacturer; will you forgive me?'

    North and South Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
British Dictionary definitions for uncouth


lacking in good manners, refinement, or grace
Derived Forms
uncouthly, adverb
uncouthness, noun
Word Origin
Old English uncūth, from un-1 + cūth familiar; related to Old High German kund known, Old Norse kunnr
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 uncouth

Old English uncuð "unknown, uncertain, unfamiliar," from un- (1) "not" + cuð "known, well-known," past participle of cunnan "to know" (see can (v.)). Meaning "strange, crude, clumsy" is first recorded 1510s. The compound (and the thing it describes) widespread in IE languages, cf. Latin ignorantem, Old Norse ukuðr, Gothic unkunþs, Sanskrit ajnatah, Armenian ancanaut', Greek agnotos, Old Irish ingnad "unknown."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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