Definition of untoward in English:


Pronunciation: /ʌntəˈwɔːd//ʌnˈtəʊəd/


  • Unexpected and inappropriate or inconvenient.

    ‘both tried to behave as if nothing untoward had happened’
    ‘untoward remarks’
    • ‘People always blame the legal system whenever something untoward happens.’
    • ‘People roamed the streets, drove their cars, popped into a cafe for a coffee - nothing visibly untoward or unusual.’
    • ‘She has also proposed, however, that untoward effects may emerge when this blending is absent.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, prognostic error may have untoward effects on both patient care and social policy.’
    • ‘Any untoward effects appear first in this sensitive age group.’
    • ‘Nor, he insists, was there anything odd or untoward about his advocating the break up the United Kingdom while he was a servant of the state.’
    • ‘Besides the huge medical waste, the untoward effects of using antibiotics is increasing rapidly.’
    • ‘I assumed this untoward behaviour indicated that we had previously met.’
    • ‘Aside from a few bemused looks from passers-by and a few words with the police, nothing untoward happened.’
    • ‘The problem becomes more complicated when any untoward incident takes place in the Srinagar city or its vicinity.’
    • ‘She had been referred for the scan as she has a hearing problem, and the doctor wanted to check that there was nothing untoward going on inside her skull.’
    • ‘A man would be lewd with, or proposition, or tell an untoward joke toward a female.’
    • ‘The head teachers reported no untoward problems on Friday, with results e-mailed through to the schools on schedule.’
    • ‘Detectives would also like to hear from anyone who may have noticed anything untoward around the train station at any time.’
    • ‘I myself have felt no untoward effects, other than glowing in the dark and having x-ray vision in one eye.’
    • ‘It was the only untoward incident in an otherwise sportingly contested local derby.’
    • ‘The animals did not show any untoward effect during the trial and post trial phases.’
    • ‘However, the steady, stable nature of the industry means shareholders receive few untoward profit surprises.’
    • ‘According to the organisers, no untoward incident happened during the five-day exposition.’
    • ‘He claimed that he went to the flat in August but denied anything untoward took place and he said the second incident was entirely consensual.’
    unexpected, unanticipated, unforeseen, unpredictable, unpredicted
    surprising, unusual
    inopportune, untimely, ill-timed, badly timed, mistimed
    inconvenient, awkward, unwelcome, unfavourable, adverse, unfortunate, infelicitous
    inappropriate, unsuitable, inapt
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