Definition of unkempt in English:



  • (especially of a person) having an untidy or dishevelled appearance.

    ‘they were unwashed and unkempt’
    • ‘If the garden is unkempt, unhealthy or dying, it is considered to be draining the energy.’
    • ‘I have also had to contact the council regarding the unkempt appearance of the roads in my area.’
    • ‘He was rather unkempt, so we didn't want to put him in the new family car for his ride home.’
    • ‘The old colonial building with a wild and unkempt garden around was unlit and silent.’
    • ‘It was a shabby, straggly, unkempt little regiment, their faces chapped, their noses running in the cold.’
    • ‘It was a woman, dirty, bedraggled and unkempt, but a woman nonetheless.’
    • ‘He peers out from under his scruffy, unkempt hair with a slackjawed, apprehensive expression.’
    • ‘The man allowed him to turn around and looked him up and down, taking in the rumpled clothes and unkempt hair.’
    • ‘This means that the cemetery has a very untidy, unkempt appearance but this will soon change.’
    • ‘The whole head is fluffed up and gently back-combed, so that it looks scruffy and unkempt.’
    • ‘The result certainly gives the Parliament an unkempt, unloved appearance lacking in maintenance.’
    • ‘Her nose was red, her face streaked and tear-stained, her hair disheveled and unkempt.’
    • ‘Norman took me into his unkempt, barren back garden to show me the only thing which he could boast of - his four fat white rabbits.’
    • ‘Sporting an unkempt beard and shaggy crop, he makes Robinson Crusoe look like GQ's Man of the Year.’
    • ‘She stood in the middle of the devastation, breathing heavily, hair unkempt and gown rumpled and mussed.’
    • ‘If you can cope with leaving part of your lawn unkempt then your garden will really benefit.’
    • ‘She raked her fingers through the wild, unkempt gardens of her hair.’
    • ‘He had on a white shirt and black trousers which were too short and he was unkempt.’
    • ‘I tackled my wardrobes about a year ago, but like an unkempt ivy, disorder and chaos has returned.’
    • ‘His hair was almost as disheveled and unkempt as mine, and he was the first baboon in the troop who ever interacted with me.’
    untidy, messy, scruffy, disordered, dishevelled, disarranged, rumpled, windblown, ungroomed, bedraggled, in a mess, messed up, shabby, slovenly, shaggy
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Late Middle English: from un- ‘not’ + kempt ‘combed’ (past participle of archaic kemb, related to comb).