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From Latin incongruus, from in- (not) + congruus (congruent).


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪnˈkɒn.ɡɹʊu.ʌs/, /ɪnˈkɒŋ.ɹʊu.ʌs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ɪnˈkɑn.ɡɹu.əs/, /ɪŋˈkɑŋ.ɡɹu.əs/
  • (file)


incongruous (comparative more incongruous, superlative most incongruous)

  1. Not similar or congruent; not matching or fitting in.
    • 1853 January, Currer Bell [pseudonym; Charlotte Brontë], chapter 34, in Villette. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), London: Smith, Elder & Co., [], →OCLC:
      [P]erhaps he thought me, with my basket of summer fruit, and my lack of the dignity age confers, an incongruous figure in such a scene.
    • 1905, Upton Sinclair, chapter I, in The Jungle, New York, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, published 26 February 1906, →OCLC:
      Ona was blue-eyed and fair, while Jurgis had great black eyes with beetling brows, and thick black hair that curled in waves about his ears—in short, they were one of those incongruous and impossible married couples with which Mother Nature so often wills to confound all prophets.
    • 1912, Jack London, chapter 1, in A Son Of The Sun:
      Ardent suns had likewise tanned his face till it was swarthy as a Spaniard's. The yellow mustache appeared incongruous in the midst of such swarthiness.
    • 18 November 2014, Daniel Taylor, “England and Wayne Rooney see off Scotland in their own back yard”, in The Guardian[1]:
      For a few moments England toyed with the idea of making it a more difficult night than necessary. Scotland had scored a goal that seemed incongruous to the rest of their performance and, briefly, a fiercely partisan crowd sensed an improbable comeback.
  2. (mathematics) Of two numbers, with respect to a third, such that their difference can not be divided by it without a remainder.
    20 and 25 are incongruous with respect to 4.


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