Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



untoward +‎ -ly


untowardly (comparative more untowardly, superlative most untowardly)

  1. In an untoward way.
    • 1594, William Percy, Cœlia, Sonnet XII,[1]
      Those ruddy plumes, embrew′d with heavenly food,
      When I would suck them, twine to driest coral;
      And when I couch between her lily buds,
      They surge like frothy water mounts above all:
      Surely, they were all made unto good uses,
      But she them all untowardly abuses.
    • c. 1598, William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, Act III, Scene 2,[2]
      O day untowardly turned!
    • 1761, Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Volume 3, Chapter 76,[3]
      [] whenever my brains come to be dissected, you will perceive, without spectacles, that he has left a large uneven thread, as you sometimes see in an unsaleable piece of cambrick, running along the whole length of the web, and so untowardly, you cannot so much as cut out a..., (here I hang up a couple of lights again)—or a fillet, or a thumb-stall, but it is seen or felt.
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma, Volume 2, Chapter 18,[4]
      [] I have observed, Mrs. Elton, in the course of my life, that if things are going untowardly one month, they are sure to mend the next.”
    • 1857, Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers, Chapter 43,[5]
      It has been said that Mr. Slope, as he started for Ullathorne, received a dispatch from his friend Mr. Towers, which had the effect of putting him in that high good humour which subsequent events somewhat untowardly damped.
    • 2007 January 14, Sara Dickerman, “Are You Being Served?”, in New York Times[6]:
      Perhaps that’s because discretion is a restaurateur’s asset — to dish untowardly would be bad for business.


untowardly (comparative more untowardly, superlative most untowardly)

  1. Untoward.
    • 1561, Baldassare Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier (1528), translated by Thomas Hoby, London: David Nutt, 1900, Book One, pp. 41-42,[7]
      To disgrace therefore many untowardly asseheades, that through malepertnes thinke to purchase them the name of a good Courtyer, I would have suche a pastime for this night, that one of the company myght bee picked out who should take in hand to shape in woordes a good Courtyer, specifying all suche condicions and particuler qualities, as of necessitie must be in hym that deserveth this name.
    • 1693, John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, Dublin: T. Walker, 15th edition, 1778, §. 68, p. 75,[8]
      They frequently learn from unbred or debauched Servants, such Language, untowardly Tricks and Vices, as otherwise they possibly would be ignorant of all their Lives.
    • 1791, George Washington, Letter to his niece, Harriot Washington, Philadelphia, 20 October, 1791,[9]
      Your cousins, with whom you live, are well qualified to give you advice; and I am sure they will, if you are disposed to receive it. But, if you are disobliging, self-willed, and untowardly, it is hardly to be expected that they will engage themselves in unpleasant disputes with you []

Derived terms[edit]