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 Unfortunately, Jones couldn’t have a good laugh at his misfortune after a big win as the Giants blew an 11-point lead late and fell to 1-6 (yes, fell) with the 22-21 loss in Philly. New York Daily News, courant.com, "Daniel Jones takes a little tumble and the internet is still rolling," 23 Oct. 2020 This Witches, alas, has the misfortune of doubling down on all the late writer's eccentricities, while somehow finding only a fraction of his magic. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "HBO Max's The Witches casts the wrong kind of spell: Review," 21 Oct. 2020 The reason is probably intuitive for anyone who has the misfortune to spend an unhealthy amount of time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or even cable news. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Why Social Media Is So Good at Polarizing Us," 19 Oct. 2020 This is what Prescott is facing after enduring the misfortune of a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "N.F.L.’s Next Man Up Ethos Persists Through Injury and Pandemic," 16 Oct. 2020 Wentz also had the misfortune of facing a big-play Pittsburgh defense that kept him under siege, which was reflected by the five sacks and duress that resulted in two interceptions. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: 4-0 Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has no reason to whine about COVID-19 disruptions," 12 Oct. 2020 The cruel truth is that misfortune doesn’t give a damn about the content of your character or the size of your biceps. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, "Our President Is Literally Toxic," 7 Oct. 2020 LaFleur expects the Falcons' recent misfortune will only add to their incentive. Steve Megargee, Star Tribune, "Winless Falcons may not get chance to blow lead at Green Bay," 1 Oct. 2020 But only a select few residents of Pensacola, Florida, also have the misfortune of dealing with massive runaway barges that washed ashore and settled in their yards. Jake Newby, USA TODAY, "These Florida residents have runaway barges in their yards after Hurricane Sally: 'What do we do?'," 21 Sep. 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

28 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

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

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