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 Instead of dividing things up by asking what people need, a luck-egalitarian system tries to equalize the distribution of misfortune. Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker, "The Equality Conundrum," 6 Jan. 2020 Anderson gave the lead back to the D’backs in the bottom half of the inning after a bit of misfortune cost him the potential second out of the inning. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Giants can’t complete the sweep, D’backs walk off against Mark Melancon," 23 June 2019 His misfortune might mean another improbable 1,000-yard year for Adrian Peterson. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL power rankings: Packers, Chiefs rejoin top five after Week 14 shuffle," 11 Dec. 2019 So now his waiting game -- even if able to work back into good graces -- could come down to the misfortune of another. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Are Heat ready for what comes next?," 30 Nov. 2019 Despite her prayers and attempts to be a good, Puritan girl, Thomasin is repeatedly blamed for their misfortunes. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "13 Scariest Horror Movie Scenes," 31 Oct. 2019 The group eventually settles on the eldest daughter as the source of both this demon and all their misfortunes. A.l., The Economist, "“The Lighthouse”: an engulfing dive into madness," 18 Oct. 2019 Egypt, to its great misfortune, had at least four: the state, the liberal opposition, the Islamists and powerful outsiders, above all the U.S. and the Persian Gulf countries. James Traub, WSJ, "‘Into the Hands of the Soldiers’ Review: Arab Spring, Egypt’s Fall," 14 Aug. 2018 And one person who contributed to her love life misfortune? Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Andi Dorfman Says Chris Soules Is 'Hanging In There' After Involvement in Fatal Car Crash," 10 Jan. 2018

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for misfortune

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Misfortune.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misfortune?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=m&file=misfor01. Accessed 19 January 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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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 insert between existing elements

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