from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not fitting well or correctly: ill-fitting trousers.
  • adj. Unsuitable or inappropriate: ill-fitting levity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Fitting poorly; not the proper size and cut; -- of clothing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not the right size or shape


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • You see, all those out-of-date tops, ill-fitting jeans and giveaway t-shirts you've got stuffed away in boxes can be worn again by others -- but not if they're sitting in your attic.

    Mattias Wallander: New Year's Resolution to Declutter Your Closet? Great, Here's How to Do It Responsibly

  • Yesterday's edition of the New York Post saw President Obama in Hawaii, clad in an ill-fitting polo shirt, board shorts, wraparound wire-rim shades, standard-issue White Sox cap, and (gasp) flip-flops--a breed of "wimpy" footwear the Post notes is "favored by his core demographic: college kids" and, the paper asserts, a presidential "first" ("I can't say I've seen a president's toes before," historian Jane Hampton Cook concurs).

    Gilt MANual: Should The Leader Of The Free World Dress Like THIS?

  • However, thanks to monetary policy as loose and ill-fitting as an XXL jellaba, most of us were standing passively by while, in the international financial hub of New York City, the banks tossed vast sums of cheap, borrowed money into the ever greedier hands of millions who could never even qualify for an ordinary mortgage.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • Disguised as a scholar in an "ill-fitting suit and a pair of old-fashioned eyeglasses" and bearing a forged letter of introduction from the president of Middlebury College, one of the thieves was able to make off with the library's copy, but he and his accomplices were frustrated in their effort to flog the great book on the black market.

    First Folio Follies

  • Instead, her appearances on screen are marked by music that's somehow ill-fitting or harmonically skewed.

    Hold the Orchestra: Crafting the 'Dragon Tattoo' Score

  • Responding to common frustrations with ill-fitting off-the-rack suiting, the Los Angeles-based designers make tailored work pieces as well as tuxedos, which have become red-carpet go-tos for actresses Reese Witherspoon and Mila Kunis.

    Fashion News

  • The ill-fitting clothes, battered hands, and sunburned face remained; but these seemed the prison-bars through which she saw a great soul looking forth, inarticulate and dumb because of those feeble lips that would not give it speech.

    Chapter 2

  • I peered into the darkened Oriental Art Gallery, and was about to leave when an elderly woman, hunched over in classical garb and an ill-fitting wig, welcomed me into her shop.

    Red Room: Pam Tent: Home Is Where You Hang Your Hat: Why San Francisco Is It for Me

  • Another 2.1 million cars are being recalled because unsecured or ill-fitting floor mats could entrap the accelerator, causing the car to speed without the driver pushing the pedal.

    Toyota recalls 2.1 million vehicles in U.S.

  • The scene in which Lewis removes his suffering host's ill-fitting oral prosthesis is almost unbearably graphic.

    To Believe, or Not to Believe?


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