Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Improper; unseemly.
  • adjective Unfavorable or adverse.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Froward; perverse; refractory; not easily guided or taught.
  • Inconvenient; troublesome; vexatious; unfortunate; unlucky: as, an untoward event; an untoward vow.
  • Synonyms Wilful, Contrary, etc. (see wayward), intractable.
  • Toward.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Froward; perverse.
  • adjective Awkward; ungraceful.
  • adjective Inconvenient; troublesome; vexatious; unlucky; unfortunate.
  • preposition obsolete Toward.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Unfavourable, adverse, or disadvantageous.
  • adjective Unruly, troublesome.
  • adjective Unseemly, improper.
  • adjective medicine side effects

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

  • adjective not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society
  • adjective contrary to your interests or welfare

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

un- +‎ toward

Examples

  • And litigation only occurs if people figure out that something untoward is going on — with personalized search results, you may never know what comes up when other people search for your name.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • And litigation only occurs if people figure out that something untoward is going on — with personalized search results, you may never know what comes up when other people search for your name.

    WIPIP at Seton Hall part 3

  • You're obviously pretty confident nothing untoward is going to be happening in front of your webcam at these intervals!

    Webcam as Memex

  • All the 'ill luck' -- that is, the untoward circumstances of the year, would be ascribed to the accident of a person with light hair having been the first to enter a dwelling on the mornings referred to.

    A Righte Merrie Christmasse The Story of Christ-Tide

  • He came to his senses thinking of the one little item which could be described as untoward -- thinking of Hilda, and Hilda engaged to be married to Fred

    The Slave of the Lamp

  • And, if the rich person did something 'untoward', should she have to pay just because of that?

    SheWired.com - The go-to site for women: lesbian, gay, bi, queer, trans, straight girl but curious and otherwise identified

  • Jones called charges that the e-mails involve any "untoward" activity "ludicrous", and Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research stated that the skeptics have selectively quoted words and phrases out of context in an attempt to sabotage the Copenhagen global climate summit in December.

    Janet Ritz: The Consequences of Climategate

  • If the latter, it may be tactically advantageous to reassure the judge that you can prevail without your proposed rule producing the kind of untoward results implicit in the question.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Answering Questions at Oral Argument:

  • Parker goes on to say she's not at all suggesting anything "untoward," which seems obvious.

    Taylor Marsh: McCain's Crush

  • When the accuser was interviewed by the child services organization and he denied any kind of untoward conduct by Michael Jackson, a critical document ...

    CNN Transcript May 28, 2004

Comments

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  • "Did anything else untoward happen?" Bill sounded just a wee bit dry. -Charlaine Harris, Living Dead in Dallas

    December 11, 2010

  • untoward behavior is inappropriate.

    June 14, 2013