Definition of unpromising in US English:



  • Not giving hope of future success or good results.

    ‘the boy's natural intellect had survived in unpromising circumstances’
    • ‘Hypnosis has also shown unpromising results in the treatment of stammering.’
    • ‘Up an unpromising staircase, the door opens into a small and perfectly-formed space, dominated by a long counter behind which skulks a spotty girl.’
    • ‘The quality is unknown but when Scotland on Sunday tested bootleg DVDs last year, the results were unpromising.’
    • ‘There, ordinary people have learned to be inventive with the most unpromising of materials.’
    • ‘It spins riveting, moving drama out of the most unpromising premise imaginable: the implementation of the 35-hour working week.’
    • ‘Born in Beverley in 1949, his rise to success from distinctly unpromising beginnings is an inspiration to other young artists.’
    • ‘Such brief moments of happiness snatched from unpromising circumstances are generally the most that Loach's characters can hope for.’
    • ‘But if the premise is unpromising, the result is utterly engrossing.’
    • ‘In these unpromising circumstance, the Collinsons, like the other families, believe only a public inquiry will find the truth.’
    • ‘Perhaps he will surprise us all at Muirfield, but the portents are unpromising.’
    • ‘Even the most unpromising small plot can be transformed into a successful garden with hints which will show you just what can be achieved when space and time are at a premium.’
    • ‘We picked it up as ‘the least unpromising or obvious thing on the shelf in Somerfield’ and I think it cost around £6.50 a bottle.’
    • ‘They live in a house in the most unpromising of territory - a grim estate on the Charlton-Woolwich boundary - yet the interior of their home is fantastic.’
    • ‘Curaçaoans have always known that success can be distilled from the most unpromising of ingredients.’
    • ‘And people are going to keep using the flag, some to celebrate a heroic past, some to protest an unpromising future.’
    • ‘Despite the unpromising subject matter Tintin became a soaring success and the print run for the supplement soon had to be increased.’
    • ‘In these unpromising circumstances a living community grows up.’
    • ‘This machine would be his only escape in the unpromising future.’
    • ‘But this alone is not enough to explain why it has survived so well in such unpromising circumstances.’
    • ‘Into such unpromising circumstances step up The Colonies and they give good gig.’
    inauspicious, unfavourable, adverse, disadvantageous, unpropitious, uninviting, discouraging, disheartening, gloomy, bleak, black, portentous, foreboding, hopeless, ominous, creepy, baleful, doomed, jinxed, damned, cursed, ill-fated, ill-omened
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