mis·​for·​tune | \ ˌmis-ˈfȯr-chən How to pronounce misfortune (audio) \

Definition of misfortune

1a : an event or conjunction of events that causes an unfortunate or distressing result : bad luck by misfortune he fell into bad company had the misfortune to break his leg
b : an unhappy situation always ready to help people in misfortune
2 : a distressing or unfortunate incident or event misfortunes never come singly

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Synonyms & Antonyms for misfortune



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Choose the Right Synonym for misfortune

misfortune, mischance, adversity, mishap mean adverse fortune or an instance of this. misfortune may apply to either the incident or conjunction of events that is the cause of an unhappy change of fortune or to the ensuing state of distress. never lost hope even in the depths of misfortune mischance applies especially to a situation involving no more than slight inconvenience or minor annoyance. took the wrong road by mischance adversity applies to a state of grave or persistent misfortune. had never experienced great adversity mishap applies to an often trivial instance of bad luck. the usual mishaps of a family vacation

Examples of misfortune in a Sentence

a victim of economic misfortune She endured her misfortune without complaint. It was my misfortune to be chosen first. Her injury was a great misfortune. He blamed the party's misfortunes on poor leadership.
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Recent Examples on the Web On May 29, 2019, as the moon dove in front of the sun, casting the world into six minutes of darkness, both teams set their telescopes toward the sun—but misfortune struck. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "100 Years Ago, Albert Einstein Became a Legend," 5 Nov. 2019 Fifteen minutes into the second half, though, misfortune struck as Megan was injured while jumping into a play. Drew Cove, Twin Cities, "State girls soccer: Champlin Park edges Stillwater," 22 Oct. 2019 Sané was believed to be close to a move to Bayern in the summer, before misfortune struck and an anterior cruciate ligament injury ruled him out until the end of the year, leading the Bavarian giants to pull the plug for the time being. SI.com, "Manchester City Eyeing Real Sociedad's Mikel Oyarzabal as Leroy Sane Replacement," 21 Oct. 2019 Wheels of misfortune: The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a woman who was injured at a Brook Park Giant Eagle didn’t prove the grocer was responsible. cleveland, "Ohio good-government groups want to shed light on ‘dark money:’ Capitol Letter," 20 Sep. 2019 Perhaps that belief stems in no small part from the imagination that enabled people to see that any one of us might be rendered poor or ill or weak from a stroke of misfortune. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Notre Dame Is a Cruel Metaphor for Our World Right Now," 25 Apr. 2019 Nor does the book try to preëmpt doubt or blame by emphasizing the author’s irreproachable state of mental and physical health before misfortune struck. Lidija Haas, The New Yorker, "Memoirs of Disease and Disbelief," 17 June 2014 Yemen’s latest misfortune will make harder the herculean task of bringing peace to the ravaged nation. Bobby Ghosh, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: The last thing Yemen needed was a second civil war," 24 Aug. 2019 For a second consecutive year, misfortune befell Houston area gymnast Colin Van Wicklen at the USA Gymnastics championships. David Barron, Houston Chronicle, "Colin Van Wicklen exits USA Gymnastics championships with injury," 8 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'misfortune.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of misfortune

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for misfortune

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for misfortune

The first known use of misfortune was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for misfortune


How to pronounce misfortune (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of misfortune

: bad luck
: an unlucky condition or event


mis·​for·​tune | \ mis-ˈfȯr-chən How to pronounce misfortune (audio) \

Kids Definition of misfortune

1 : bad luck
2 : an unfortunate situation or event

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Comments on misfortune

What made you want to look up misfortune? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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