Definition of unpropitious in US English:



  • (of a circumstance) not giving or indicating a good chance of success; unfavorable.

    ‘his reports were submitted at a financially unpropitious time’
    • ‘Sachs argues, that a syndrome of unpropitious circumstances enchain the poorest countries in a hand to mouth existence that prevents them investing in their future.’
    • ‘The Blog Quebecois is a good one despite its unpropitious location.’
    • ‘Defection on the way to Americanization was common; vitiated practice and invincible vagueness about belief and conviction were not a cause for alarm but the best that could be achieved under unpropitious conditions.’
    • ‘In 2001 the couple got married in the face of some unpropitious portents.’
    • ‘For several centuries Southwark remained rural, partly because it was low lying and unpropitious for building.’
    • ‘Cæsar might be ready to go to war; but if the Pontifex Maximus at Number XI opens any one of five pigeons and pronounces its entrails unpropitious, then the legions must stand down.’
    • ‘The situation at the main British landing site at Helles, where the landings had begun at dawn, was equally unpropitious.’
    • ‘Certainly, the next 24 hours seem unpropitious for any US bombardment: today is Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar and since 1973 one with fateful resonance in Middle East history.’
    • ‘No one looks forward to the prospect of internecine warfare at so unpropitious a political moment.’
    • ‘It initially had to be postponed two weeks out of concerns that the country's political chaos were unpropitious to success.’
    • ‘Wang also mentioned that her Chinese name sounds unpropitious.’
    • ‘Liberal Saudi spokesmen explained that not all were opposed to women's driving, but that the incident came at an unpropitious moment.’
    • ‘Even the Pope feels it is politically unpropitious to avow any commitment to the RCC's official belief system.’
    • ‘He took up the canal as an issue at an unpropitious time; he generated so much popular support that the skeptics in the political class had to bow to it; he presided over both the groundbreaking and the completion.’
    • ‘Our men arrive at an unpropitious moment, just as Robert Mugabe drives a new set of repressive laws through his parliament and puts his foot on the necks of human rights organisations.’
    • ‘Not because they drink water, but because the state of mind which makes them dread alcohol is unpropitious to the hatching of any generous idea.’
    • ‘Where the moral formation of a people is deficient, the general will malign, or historical circumstance unpropitious, democracy is quite unambiguously wicked in its results.’
    • ‘Despite such unpropitious omens, Raistrick believes that Scotland should ‘go for it’ and submit a bid to stage the 2003 World Indoor Cup, with the two most likely venues being in Glasgow or at Bell's Sports Centre.’
    • ‘In deeply unpropitious times, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography has refreshed and fortified our sense of what can still be meant by the collective endeavour of ‘scholarship’.’
    • ‘However unpropitious the news from Canterbury, however downcast by events at The Oval earlier in the week, Shane Warne was far from a cowed figure at Sophia Gardens yesterday.’
    adverse, disadvantageous, unadvantageous, unfavourable, unlucky, untoward, unwelcome
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