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misbegotten

If you describe something as misbegotten, you think it had an improper basis or was poorly conceived — like the misbegotten dress code at your school, which requires students to wear long sleeves even in hot, humid weather.

The adjective misbegotten, which commonly means "badly planned," used to have another use: it was a derogatory way to describe someone born to unmarried parents. It's extremely old fashioned to use the word that way, but you may come across it in an older book — describing a misbegotten heroine, for example. Misbegotten can also be used simply to mean "contemptible," as in "That misbegotten villain stole my grandmother's purse!"

Definitions of misbegotten
  1. adjective
    poorly conceived or thought out
    synonyms: ill-conceived, misguided
    foolish
    devoid of good sense or judgment
  2. adjective
    deserving of contempt or scorn
    synonyms: contemptible
    abject, low, low-down, miserable, scummy, scurvy
    of the most contemptible kind
    bastardly, mean
    of no value or worth
    pathetic, pitiable, pitiful
    inspiring mixed contempt and pity
    ignoble
    completely lacking nobility in character or quality or purpose
    unworthy
    lacking in value or merit
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    Antonyms:
    estimable
    deserving of respect or high regard
    admirable
    deserving of the highest esteem or admiration
    worthy
    having worth or merit or value; being honorable or admirable
    show more antonyms...
  3. adjective
    born out of wedlock
    synonyms: bastardly, misbegot, spurious
    illegitimate
    of marriages and offspring; not recognized as lawful
Word Family
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