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[uhn-prom-uh-sing] /ʌnˈprɒm ə sɪŋ/
unlikely to be favorable or successful, as the weather, a situation, or a career.
Origin of unpromising
1625-35; un-1 + promising
Related forms
unpromisingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unpromising
  • Every dollar that funds an unpromising area of research is a dollar less for promising research.
  • But at any rate an unpromising career would not have been nipped in the bud.
  • Yet in this unpromising setting, some positive signs are visible.
  • From this unpromising ground, little thoughtful activity emerges.
  • The trick here, as in every encounter with the media, is to use an unpromising situation to send a message.
  • Religious people are trained to look beneath the unpromising surface to find the sacred within it.
  • These seem bleak, unpromising reductions, and the book happily defeats the expectations they are likely to set up.
  • In a statement, he condemned the reactor as unacceptably expensive and unpromising.
  • At every finite stage, the scalloped shape looks weird and unpromising.
  • Her apprentice work was conventional and unpromising, rather stilted.
British Dictionary definitions for unpromising


not showing any promise of favourable development or future success
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 unpromising

1660s, from un- (1) "not" + promising (see promise).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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