Definition of inelegant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈɛlɪɡ(ə)nt/


1Having or showing a lack of physical grace, elegance, or refinement: he came skidding to an inelegant halt an inelegant bellow of laughter
More example sentences
  • Good games can be elegant or inelegant, elegant games can be good or bad.
  • His ungainly, inelegant posture can leave him exposed against nimbler opponents, and he easily attracts ridicule.
  • The penultimate movement (in which the four soloists sing with both choirs) just sort of unravelled at the end and slumped to a very inelegant mess.
1.1(Of language) unpolished: an inelegant title
More example sentences
  • First, the book is loaded with the technical and markedly inelegant jargon of postmodern philosophy.
  • One objection is that they'll let various inelegant usages into the language, but that is a tough basis on which to make one's argument.
  • Although written in rather inelegant and sometimes ungrammatical prose, this is an insightful and original work, based on a remarkable range of evidence.



Pronunciation: /ɪnˈɛlɪɡ(ə)ns/
Example sentences
  • It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.
  • The company hated its inelegance and destroyed many copies.
  • Mind you, sartorial inelegance is hardly a crime.


Pronunciation: /ɪnˈɛlɪɡ(ə)ntli/
Example sentences
  • I could not be more pleased that we are having this debate, however inelegantly it may have been brought up, because that is a very good question.
  • I came across a sign the other day, inelegantly scrawled on cardboard and stuck to a telephone pole.
  • As I scrambled inelegantly up into the driver's seat, I began to regret my gung-ho attitude of earlier that day.


Early 16th century: from French inélégant, from Latin inelegant-, from in- 'not' + Latin elegant- 'fastidious, refined' (see elegant).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|ele¦gant

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