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out-of-place, harmonious, fitting, congruent


GRE 4 (Graduate Record Examination), Comparison and Contrast, Anomaly and Difference, Opposites and Differences



How to pronounce incongruous (audio)


Dictionary definition of incongruous

Out of place, inconsistent, or incompatible within a particular context or situation.
"The building's modern design was incongruous with the surrounding architecture."

Detailed meaning of incongruous

It highlights a striking lack of harmony or agreement between elements that should naturally fit together. When something is deemed incongruous, it typically stands in sharp contrast to its surroundings, creating a jarring or discordant effect. For example, mismatched colors in an outfit or a humorous comment in a serious conversation can be considered incongruous. This term often implies a sense of awkwardness or inappropriateness due to the stark disparity between what is expected and what is observed. In essence, "incongruous" underscores the idea of elements that do not belong together, creating a noticeable and sometimes uncomfortable clash in their coexistence.

Example sentences containing incongruous

1. His casual attire was incongruous with the formal dress code of the event.
2. The loud rock music playing at the elegant wedding seemed incongruous.
3. The bright yellow house stood out as incongruous in the otherwise monochromatic neighborhood.
4. The politician's statements were incongruous with his previous positions.
5. The serious topic of the lecture made the professor's lighthearted jokes seem incongruous.
6. The painting's vibrant colors appeared incongruous with the somber subject matter.

History and etymology of incongruous

The adjective 'incongruous' has its roots in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'incongruus,' which combines 'in,' indicating negation or absence, and 'congruus,' meaning 'fitting' or 'appropriate.' Therefore, 'incongruous' etymologically conveys the idea of not being fitting or consistent within a particular context or situation. When something is described as 'incongruous,' it stands out as out of place, inconsistent, or incompatible with its surroundings or the expectations of a given situation. The etymology of 'incongruous' highlights the concept of a lack of harmony or suitability, emphasizing the idea that it doesn't align with what is considered fitting or appropriate in a specific context.

Quiz: Find the meaning of incongruous

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Further usage examples of incongruous

1. The extravagant decorations in the simple café felt incongruous and out of place.
2. His sarcastic comment was incongruous with the friendly atmosphere of the gathering.
3. The artist's abstract sculpture seemed incongruous in the traditional art gallery.
4. The mismatched furniture created an incongruous aesthetic in the living room.
5. The calm demeanor of the detective was incongruous with the gruesome crime scene.
6. The inclusion of a comedic scene in the intense drama felt incongruous.
7. The new employee's relaxed attitude was incongruous with the fast-paced work environment.
8. The formal language used in the informal email seemed incongruous.
9. The elderly man's youthful energy and enthusiasm were incongruous with his age.
10. The modern architecture clashed with the historical buildings, creating an incongruous cityscape.
11. The pop song playing during the classical music concert was incongruous and surprised the audience.
12. The CEO's decision to cut costs by reducing employee benefits felt incongruous with the company's values.
13. The aggressive behavior of the usually calm dog was incongruous and concerning.
14. The out-of-place graffiti on the pristine monument appeared incongruous and disrespectful.

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