The word incongruous is a well-known term in literature often used to describe terms which may be ironical or inappropriate in nature. It is usually used in making comparisons between two or more objects. Two objects or events are said to be incongruous when they are incompatible or are lacking in harmony.
It could also be used when describing an event or object as unsuitable or inconsistent with what was expected or required. When there is a debate over an issue and the parties in the debate seem to have completely different opinions concerning the same issue, one could say that their claims are incongruous. When people begin to exhibit a kind of behavior that is somewhat unbecoming, one could also classify this new line of action as incongruous with what was initially obtainable.
Incongruity is simply the state of being incongruous and when matters of this nature occur; they are usually classified as being paradoxical, ironical, contrasting, etc. This popular term has been used as far back as the early 1600s. it was coined from the Latin word “incongruus” which means opposite of. It could also be used when statements or reports seem contradictory or incoherent. They are also used in describing items that contain disparate or discordant elements.
Also, it can be used in other forms like incongruent which is the adjective form, incongruously, incongruently as an adverb, it could also be used as a noun in the form of incongruence or incongruousness, etc. Let’s take a look at some of the ways the word incongruous could be used in literature. “The incongruous lid made the door impossible to shut”, “Mr. John and Mrs. Maggie just got a divorce due to their unending incongruous views”, “He has the habit of making statements incongruous to the discussion”, “He lost his job based on incongruity related issues”, etc.
There are a lot of synonyms to the word like; unsuitable, inappropriate, ridiculous, contradictory, inharmonious, inconsistent, discordant, absurd, contrary, incoherent, illogical, divergent, conflicting, etc. these are but a few of the many similar words available. It also has some antonyms like; consistent, becoming, proper, compatible, coherent, congruous, harmony, etc
The word has been widely used in tonnes of literary works and poems, some of the popular ones include The Golden Bowl written by Henry James, Brazillian Sketches written by TB Ray, The Emancipated by George Gissing, etc. some poems like To Albius Tibullus composed by Eugene Field, Eternal Me by Charlotte Perkins and Stetson Gilman, etc.