unseemly

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English unsemli, probably from a partial translation of Old Norse úsǽmiligr (unseemly); equivalent to un- +‎ seemly. Cognate with Icelandic ósæmileg (offensive), Norwegian usømmelig (unseemly), Danish usømmeligt (unseemly).

Adjective[edit]

unseemly (comparative unseemlier, superlative unseemliest)

  1. Inconsistent with established standards of good form or taste.
    He was drunk and made some very unseemly comments.
    • (Can we date this quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      An unseemly outbreak of temper.
    • 1958, Anthony Burgess, The Enemy in the Blanket (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 379:
      Many men, women and children, clothed in bright raiment for the Sabbath, saw with a faint flicker of interest and surprise a very white man on a trishaw, and the driver pedalling with unseemly haste.
    • 2014 October 21, Oliver Brown, “Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years – sport afforded no protection against his tragic fallibilities: Bladerunner's punishment for killing Reeva Steenkamp is but a frippery when set against the burden that her bereft parents, June and Barry, must carry [print version: No room for sentimentality in this tragedy, 13 September 2014, p. S22]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Sport)[1]:
      [I]n the 575 days since [Oscar] Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, there has been an unseemly scramble to construct revisionist histories, to identify evidence beneath that placid exterior of a pugnacious, hair-trigger personality.

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Adverb[edit]

unseemly (comparative more unseemly, superlative most unseemly)

  1. In an unseemly manner.