9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uhn-seem-lee] /ʌnˈsim li/
adjective, unseemlier, unseemliest.
not seemly; not in keeping with established standards of taste or proper form; unbecoming or indecorous in appearance, speech, conduct, etc.:
an unseemly act; unseemly behavior.
inappropriate for time or place:
an unseemly hour.
in an unseemly manner.
Origin of unseemly
1250-1300; Middle English; see un-1, seemly
Related forms
unseemliness, noun
1. unbefitting, inappropriate. See improper. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unseemly
  • The last three weeks of the campaign were particularly unseemly.
  • It's all a bit unseemly and provides incentives of a non-scholarly nature.
  • His search for political opportunity took him into unseemly alliances with military leaders.
  • As such it is unseemly for the untrained to claim that certain sciences are less so than others.
  • Several in the national security community considered her torrid online questioning to be an unseemly form of soliciting secrets.
  • Images of being minced into an unseemly pulp come to mind.
  • Only a left wing radical agenda could account for such unseemly behavior.
  • Now, those same steel firms are returning to profitability with unseemly haste.
  • Watching at all was an act so unseemly as to be inconceivable among gentlemen in their day.
  • We trust that this will be deemed an ample apology for the publication of unseemly and irrelevant matter.
British Dictionary definitions for unseemly


not in good style or taste; unbecoming
(obsolete) unattractive
(rare) in an unseemly manner
Derived Forms
unseemliness, 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 unseemly

early 14c., "unfitting, indecent," from un- (1) "not" + seemly. Cf. Old Norse usoemiligr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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