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From un- +‎ becoming. Compare Middle English unbicomelich (unbecoming).


  • IPA(key): /ˌʌnbɪˈkʌmɪŋ/
  • (file)


unbecoming (comparative more unbecoming, superlative most unbecoming)

  1. Not flattering, attractive or appropriate.
    • 1934, Agatha Christie, chapter 3, in Murder on the Orient Express, London: HarperCollins, published 2017, page 25:
      A very small expensive black toque was hideously unbecoming to the yellow, toad-like face beneath it.
    • 2017 July 12, Moe! Ninja Girls, Japan: NTT Solmare, iOS, Android, scene: Season 7, Chapter 7, Part 2:
       Lily: “Don’t stare so much. It’s unbecoming. It makes you look like a country bumpkin.”
    She wore a rather unbecoming hairstyle.
  2. Not in keeping with the expected standards of one's position.
    He was accused of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
    • 2009, David Walliams, Mr Stink:
      “You must be able to smell it too, Chloe. That smell of . . . Well, I’m not going to say what it reminds me of, that would be impolite and unbecoming of a woman of my class and distinction, but it’s a bad smell.”



Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



  1. present participle and gerund of unbecome


unbecoming (plural unbecomings)

  1. The process by which something unbecomes.
    • 2007, Una Chung, Contagion of Living:
      By tracing the turns from U.S. to Japan to China, we can see that becoming American, the classic ethnic American narrative, itself opens to further becomings and unbecomings and rebecomings that address mobility and ethnicization []

Further reading[edit]