American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Poorly brought up; ill-bred.
- adj. Of mixed breed; not thoroughbred.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of inferior breeding or manners; vulgar. Not pure-bred or -blooded: as, an underbred horse.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Not thoroughly bred; ill-bred.
- adj. (of persons) lacking in refinement or grace
- adj. of inferior or mixed breed
- under- + bred (Wiktionary)
“I know it is wrong and it is cruel, and it is worse than wrong and cruel, it is what you English call underbred, to be so individually disagreeable, but this grievance of mine has been weighing very heavily on my heart, and”
“It was exactly one of the speeches Molly had disliked him for before; and delivered, too, in that kind of underbred manner which showed that it was meant to convey a personal compliment.”
“Behind a long table, on which were several books, sat a smart underbred-looking man, wearing his own hair tied in a club, and who, from the quire of paper laid before him, and the pen which he handled at my entrance, seemed prepared to officiate as clerk.”
“Nor will I again torment you about that very underbred woman who inhabits the same house, and who every where boasts an intimacy with its two ladies, that is heard with general astonishment: nor yet upon another, and far more important topic, will I now touch, – the present evening recreation at Mrs. Berlinton's.”
“The inconsiderate facility with which she had wandered about with a person so little known to her, so underbred, and so forward, appeared now to herself inexcusable; and she determined, if but spared this dreadful punishment, to pass the whole of her future life in unremitting caution.”
“He tells us that, for a long while at least, he had been unacquainted with the kind of society, the idle, useless underbred society, of watering-places.”
“Margot Tennant, an aristocratic tourist who met him at Cairo, observed, “Though a little underbred, he is not at all vulgar, and though arrogant, is not vain; but he is either way very stupid or very clever; and never gives himself away.””
“She pronounced the quiet little painter a pert, little, obtrusive, underbred creature.”
“There we find the direct descendants of shrill, unhappy, swarming, degenerate, undernourished, under-educated, underbred and short-lived populations among the finest, handsomest, longest-lived and ablest of contemporary humanity.”
“The art of governing these underbred varlets lies more in the dignity of looks than in words; and thou art a sorry fellow, to think humanity consists in acting by thy servants, as men must act who are not able to pay them their wages; or had made them masters of secrets, which, if divulged, would lay them at the mercy of such wretches.”
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A roster of adjectives that infrequently surface in typical conversation and writing. Many are dredged from scientific or other technical jargon or sieved from examples of disused archaic forms.
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