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 As Lev Tolstoy taught, all misfortune stems from authority. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, National Review, 13 Oct. 2021 Cultural historian Tiffany Watt-Smith points to the power of schadenfreude, with people delighting in others' misfortune and righteously seeking to exact retribution. Brian Lowry, CNN, 7 Oct. 2021 Besides that misfortune, the ‘Canes defense suffered again from poor tackling and mistakes such as safety James Williams taking a bad angle on Mike Hollins’ 25-yard touchdown run late in the first half. Steve Gorten, USA TODAY, 1 Oct. 2021 That out-of-the-ordinary 2001 matchup was just the beginning of Auburn’s misfortune in Baton Rouge. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 30 Sep. 2021 But until these past few weeks, the story of Evergrande for many non-Chinese outsiders was not about the fortune and misfortune of a real estate empire — but of a soccer team. Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2021 Not about one-liners or conference alignments, mistakes or misfortune. Dom Amore, courant.com, 26 Sep. 2021 But Patole’s misfortune highlights another consequence of the pandemic, one that might not be fully felt for years. Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2021 Nevertheless, Richards was dealt some misfortune as a result of his team’s sloppy play in the field and a tantalizing White Sox offense that doesn’t forgive those mistakes. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for misfortune

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

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Misfortune.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misfortune. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for misfortune



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

More from Merriam-Webster on misfortune

Nglish: Translation of misfortune for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of misfortune for Arabic Speakers


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