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Incongruous Definition and Meaning

By Tayyaba Rehman & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 5, 2024
Incongruous means not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of something; out of place. e.g., The modern sofa looked incongruous in the Victorian house.

Incongruous Definitions

Mismatched: Items or elements that do not match or blend well together.
The furniture set was incongruous, with pieces from different eras.
Unsuitable: Being inappropriate or unsuitable for the situation or setting.
Wearing a swimsuit to a job interview is incongruous.
Incompatible: Elements that are not compatible or cannot work together.
The software was incongruous with the old operating system.
Jarring: Causing a sense of shock or surprise because of not fitting in.
The modern sculpture was incongruous against the medieval backdrop.
Out of Place: Not fitting in with the surrounding environment or context.
The clown at the business meeting was incongruous.
Inconsistent: Displaying a lack of consistency or uniformity.
The witness's incongruous statements raised doubts.
Dissonant: Clashing with or contradicting the existing atmosphere or tone.
The harsh lighting was incongruous with the mood of the dinner.
Illogical: Lacking logical harmony or consistency in a situation.
His argument was filled with incongruous points.
Lacking in harmony; incompatible
A joke that was incongruous with polite conversation.
Not in agreement, as with principles; inconsistent
A plan incongruous with reason.
Not in keeping with what is correct, proper, or logical; inappropriate
Incongruous behavior.
Not similar or congruent; not matching or fitting in.
(math) Of two numbers, with respect to a third, such that their difference can not be divided by it without a remainder.
20 and 25 are incongruous with respect to 4.
Not congruous; reciprocally disagreeing; not capable of harmonizing or readily assimilating; inharmonious; inappropriate; unsuitable; not fitting; inconsistent; improper; as, an incongruous remark; incongruous behavior, action, dress, etc.
Incongruous denotes that kind of absence of harmony or suitableness of which the taste and experience of men takes cognizance.
Lacking in harmony or compatibility or appropriateness;
A plan incongruous with reason
Incongruous behavior
A joke that was incongruous with polite conversation
Uncoordinated: Lacking coordination or smooth integration.
The team's efforts were incongruous, leading to confusion.
Discrepant: Showing a significant difference or discrepancy.
The account balances were incongruous, indicating an error.

Incongruous Snonyms


So different in nature as to be incapable of coexisting.
The software was incompatible with the older operating system.


Lacking harmony.
The dissonant colors of the painting created a jarring effect.


Not matching or fitting well.
The mismatched furniture gave the room an eclectic look.


Not forming or contributing to a pleasing whole; especially of sounds.
The inharmonious music made it difficult to enjoy the performance.


Different from what is usual or expected; strange.
His odd behavior raised a few eyebrows.


Not suitable or proper in the circumstances.
His comments were deemed inappropriate for the workplace.


Disagreeing or incongruous.
The discordant opinions within the team led to conflict.

Out of place

Not in the correct or usual position or arrangement.
The modern sculpture looked out of place in the medieval castle.


Not right or appropriate for a particular purpose or occasion.
The movie's humor was unsuitable for children.


Incongruous in a striking or shocking way; clashing.
The jarring contrast between the rich and poor neighborhoods was eye-opening.

Incongruous Idioms & Phrases

An incongruous sight

A view or scene that appears strange or out of place within its surroundings.
A palm tree in the middle of the snowy field was an incongruous sight.

Stand out as incongruous

To be noticeably out of place or inappropriate in a particular setting.
The modern dialogue in a historical drama stood out as incongruous.

Blend of incongruous elements

A mixture of components that do not typically go together.
The artist's latest work was a blend of incongruous elements, combining classical and digital media.

Incongruous behavior

Actions that are not in line with what is expected or typical in a given situation.
His incongruous behavior at the solemn ceremony raised many eyebrows.

Incongruously placed

Situated or positioned in a way that seems odd or out of place.
The statue was incongruously placed at the entrance of the minimalist gallery.

An incongruous mixture

A combination of items or elements that seem odd or unusual together.
The menu offered an incongruous mixture of traditional Italian dishes and exotic Thai flavors.

Incongruous pairing

A combination of two things that do not seem to belong together.
The avant-garde sculpture made an incongruous pairing with the medieval castle.

Incongruous attire

Clothing that is not suitable or appropriate for the occasion or location.
Wearing a tuxedo to a casual beach party was an incongruous attire choice.

Feeling incongruous

The sensation of being out of place or not fitting in with the surrounding people or environment.
Walking into the advanced class by mistake, she couldn't shake the feeling of being incongruous.

Incongruous in the setting

Something that does not fit or is not suitable for its location or circumstances.
The sleek, futuristic furniture looked incongruous in the rustic cabin.

The incongruous aspect

A feature or part that does not fit well with the rest.
The incongruous aspect of the renovated house was its original, untouched mailbox.

Reacting incongruously

Responding in a way that does not match or is not suitable for the situation.
Laughing at a time of grief was reacting incongruously to the news.

Incongruous with the theme

Not matching or fitting with the specified theme or style.
The clown paintings were incongruous with the theme of the elegant dinner party.

Incongruous to the ear

Sounds or music that seem odd or out of place in the context in which they are heard.
The heavy metal music was incongruous to the ear in the tranquil yoga studio.

To introduce something incongruous

To bring in an element that does not fit or is inappropriate for the context.
The director decided to introduce something incongruous to the historical film, adding a futuristic twist.

Incongruous in appearance

Looking out of place or not matching with the surroundings.
The neon sign was incongruous in appearance among the historic storefronts.

Incongruous under the circumstances

Not matching or suitable given the specific conditions or situation.
His upbeat demeanor was incongruous under the circumstances of the solemn meeting.

Incongruous with one's character

Acting in a way that is not consistent with one's usual behavior or personality.
Her decision to skip the meeting was incongruous with her character as a dependable team leader.

Incongruous Example Sentences

The futuristic design of the building is incongruous with the historic district.
Their incongruous behavior was noticeable during the solemn ceremony.
The bright pink paint on the old farmhouse looked incongruous.
It felt incongruous to discuss such a serious topic in a cafe.
The mixture of genres in the movie was somewhat incongruous.
The loud music was incongruous with the quiet library setting.
Her formal attire seemed incongruous at the casual picnic.
The new policy is incongruous with the company's values.
Their laughter was incongruous in the tense room.
He found the mix of antique and modern decor incongruous.
Wearing sunglasses at night is incongruous.
The idea of a silent disco in a library is incongruous.
Using slang in a formal report is incongruous.
The painting's modern style was incongruous with the traditional décor.
The presence of a cellphone in the historical drama was incongruous.

Common Curiosities

How is incongruous used in a sentence?

"The modern furniture inside the classic Victorian home seemed incongruous."

What is a stressed syllable in incongruous?

The stressed syllable in incongruous is "con."

What is the pronunciation of incongruous?

The pronunciation of incongruous is /ɪnˈkɒŋɡruəs/.

How many syllables are in incongruous?

There are four syllables in incongruous.

Why is it called incongruous?

It is called incongruous because it describes something that is not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of something; it originates from Latin "incongruus," meaning not agreeing or inconsistent.

What part of speech is incongruous?

Incongruous is an adjective.

How do we divide incongruous into syllables?

Incongruous is divided into syllables as in-con-gru-ous.

What is another term for incongruous?

Another term for incongruous could be "discordant" or "incompatible."

What is the root word of incongruous?

The root word is "congruus" from Latin, meaning agreeing, with the prefix "in-" meaning not, making it "not agreeing."

What is the opposite of incongruous?

The opposite of incongruous could be "congruous" or "harmonious."

Is incongruous an abstract noun?

No, incongruous is an adjective, not a noun.

What is the singular form of incongruous?

As an adjective, incongruous does not have singular or plural forms in the way nouns do; it modifies nouns regardless of their number.

Is the word incongruous is imperative?

No, incongruous is an adjective and cannot be imperative. Imperative form applies to verbs.

What is the verb form of incongruous?

Incongruous is an adjective and does not have a verb form. The related verb might involve actions like "to clash" or "to conflict," describing the act of being incongruous.

Is incongruous a countable noun?

Incongruous is not a noun; it's an adjective.

Is the word incongruous Gerund?

No, incongruous is an adjective and does not have a gerund form.

Is incongruous a vowel or consonant?

This question does not apply to the word "incongruous" as a whole; it pertains to individual letters.

Is the incongruous term a metaphor?

Incongruous can be used metaphorically to describe things that are out of place or not in harmony with their context.

Which preposition is used with incongruous?

Common prepositions used with "incongruous" include "with" or "to," as in "incongruous with" or "incongruous to."

Which conjunction is used with incongruous?

Conjunctions like "and," "or," and "but" can be used in sentences that include "incongruous."

Which article is used with incongruous?

The article used with "incongruous" depends on the noun it modifies, not on "incongruous" itself; it could be "a," "an," or "the" based on the specific context.

What is the plural form of incongruous?

Not applicable, as incongruous is an adjective and does not change form based on the number of nouns it modifies.

Is incongruous a noun or adjective?

Incongruous is an adjective.

Is incongruous an adverb?

No, incongruous is not an adverb.

Is incongruous a negative or positive word?

Incongruous generally carries a negative connotation, implying a lack of harmony or agreement.

Which determiner is used with incongruous?

Determiners like "the," "an," or "this" can be used with the noun that incongruous modifies, depending on the context.

Which vowel is used before incongruous?

Articles and vowels before "incongruous" depend on the noun it modifies, not on "incongruous" itself.

Is incongruous a collective noun?

No, incongruous is not a collective noun.

Is the word “incongruous” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

"Incongruous" being an adjective, does not serve as a direct or indirect object. It describes nouns.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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