in·​fe·​lic·​i·​tous ˌin-fi-ˈli-sə-təs How to pronounce infelicitous (audio)
: not felicitous: such as
: not appropriate or well-timed
an infelicitous remark
: awkward, unfortunate
an infelicitous moment
infelicitously adverb

Examples of infelicitous in a Sentence

an infelicitous comment on the weight of the guest of honor at the banquet
Recent Examples on the Web Dallas American politics lately feels like an endless game of—pardon the infelicitous word—delegitimation. Barton Swaim,, 18 Apr. 2023 The New York bill would implement a concept called extended producer responsibility, an incredibly infelicitous recycling term. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, 27 Jan. 2021 That grid revision unfortunately resulted in some infelicitous words being added to the puzzle. New York Times, 3 Feb. 2020 Despite the infelicitous coincidence of the election date with Easter — which would normally have been expected to depress turnout — turnout actually ticked slightly upward from recent contests, to 67 percent. Amy Erica Smith, Vox, 2 Apr. 2018 As in video games, the action is lurid, hyperkinetic, and gruesomely violent, with nods to Grand Theft Auto and a comparably infelicitous treatment of the few women characters who show up. Chicago Reader, 12 Oct. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'infelicitous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1835, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of infelicitous was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near infelicitous

Cite this Entry

“Infelicitous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​fe·​lic·​i·​tous ˌin-fi-ˈlis-ət-əs How to pronounce infelicitous (audio)
: not appropriate : not suitably chosen for the occasion
an infelicitous remark
infelicitously adverb
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!