misfortune

noun
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

Synonyms

adversity, ill, knock, misadventure, mischance, mishap, tragedy

Antonyms

fortune, luck, serendipity

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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

Kelly, who’s in only the second year of a five-year, $23.5-million contract, presumably has at least a few more seasons to reverse his early misfortunes, but fans may not be as forgiving as the school’s athletics administrators. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "Cracks starting to show in Chip Kelly’s UCLA strategy? Longtime observer thinks so," 8 Sep. 2019 Its misfortunes are not difficult to explain: Unlike Life and Fate, Stalingrad was published in the Soviet Union under Stalin and gained a reputation as Stalinist hackwork. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "Vasily Grossman’s Lost Epic," 27 Aug. 2019 There are the buck-passers, cretins who are content to simply stand up, find another table, and pass their misfortune on to some other unsuspecting soul. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appétit, "This 20-Cent Wedge of Plastic Will Make You a Restaurant Hero," 26 Aug. 2019 Poynter wanted Green to know that some good came of his misfortune. Ken Belson, New York Times, "Touch Football, Sold as Safer, Now Requires a Helmet," 20 Aug. 2019 All around him people profit and benefit from their neighbor’s misfortune. Carlos Aguilar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Argentine white-collar crime drama ‘Rojo’ revels in 1970s corruption and style," 22 Aug. 2019 Tragic, ugly, beautiful, these lives are the result of personal dreams and misfortune; of a history that encompasses Reconstruction and Vietnam; and of mystical grandeur. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Five essential Toni Morrison books you need to read, from 'Beloved' to 'The Bluest Eye'," 6 Aug. 2019 This isn't the first time animals other than fish and krill have had the misfortune of accidentally ending up in the mouth of a humpback whale. Author: Allyson Chiu, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Mind-blowing’ photo captures humpback whale with a sea lion in its mouth," 31 July 2019 Jakarta has been described as one of the world’s fastest sinking cities — a result of geographic misfortune and mismanagement. Washington Post, "Indonesia’s leader says sinking Jakarta needs giant sea wall," 29 July 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

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for misfortune

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

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More Definitions for misfortune

misfortune

noun

English Language Learners Definition of misfortune

: bad luck
: an unlucky condition or event

misfortune

noun
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

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