Word of the Day: mismatch

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Word of the Day
October 28, 2015
mismatch (noun, verb) sound LISTEN icon
Mismatch is a verb and a noun. The verb sense means "to be unsuitable" or "to be a bad match." The noun means "a bad combination" or "an unsuitable match." The term is often used to describe relationships between people and in many cases is modified by words like "completely," "complete," "total," and "totally."
Example sentences
The man and woman had a lot of similar interests, but they were mismatched as a couple because of their difficult personalities.
The tournament organizers had completely mismatched the teams, because one was much better than the other.
One team had won the national championship, and the other was made up of amateurs, so the game was a complete mismatch.
Those shoes and that bag are a total mismatch.
Did you know?
A related word, "match" (verb), can mean "to be suitable or fit together," "to be the same as each other," or "to correspond." Like mismatch, which is its opposite, it is often used when talking about clothes. For example "The curtains match the color of the carpet perfectly.”
Other forms
mismatched (adjective): This word is often used to describe clothing. Example: "The little boy wore mismatched socks." It originated from the verb, but is now used just as much as both the verb and the noun.
Mismatch first appeared between 1590 and 1600, although it was rarely used. It has become much more popular in modern times, since the 1940s. It is often used in conversation.
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