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 Anyone with the misfortune to get into a car accident or have a heart attack during the outbreak will be at the mercy of a strained system. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Coronavirus Will Have Long-Lasting Impacts on the U.S. Health Care System—And the Poorest Will Suffer Most," 26 Mar. 2020 Consider the life of someone with the misfortune of contracting coronavirus in the United States. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "How Medicare for All Could Help Fight Pandemics," 29 Jan. 2020 Miami’s all-time scoring leader Dwyane Wade was never named Rookie of the Month, with the misfortune of entering the NBA in the same draft as LeBron James, who took the honor each month of his rookie season. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Heat’s Kendrick Nunn named NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month," 3 Dec. 2019 Brahim had the misfortune of picking up a thigh injury during pre-season and was nearing his return to action after returning to training last week, until this latest setback hit the 20-year-old. SI.com, "Brahim Diaz Suffers Fresh Injury Just One Week Into New Season," 20 Aug. 2019 But Tech was poised to punch Texas back even before that bit of misfortune. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Texas blows another lead in ‘gut punch’ of a loss to Texas Tech," 8 Feb. 2020 For its arch-rival, Airbus, this spell of misfortune should have been a golden opportunity. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Boeing’s troubles mean Airbus should be soaring—here’s why it isn’t," 4 Feb. 2020 Mitchell and Webb aside, Chelsea will be looking for a first league win of the season, although there may be fatigue in the ranks as a result of incessant laughter at Tottenham's midweek misfortune at Colchester. SI.com, "Chelsea v Brighton: 7 Key Facts & Stats to Impress Your Mates Ahead of Premier League Encounter," 28 Sep. 2019 Floods, terrorist strikes, riots and illness generate waves of lawsuits because victims often try to find someone to blame for their misfortunes while opportunistic attorneys will look to capitalize on the crisis, Kabateck said. Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, "A coronavirus side effect: lots of lawsuits," 21 Apr. 2020

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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Statistics for misfortune

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Misfortune.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misfortune. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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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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