unfortunate

adjective
un·​for·​tu·​nate | \ ˌən-ˈfȯrch-nət How to pronounce unfortunate (audio) , -ˈfȯr-chə- \

Definition of unfortunate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : not favored by fortune : unsuccessful, unlucky an unfortunate young man
b : marked or accompanied by or resulting in misfortune an unfortunate decision
2a : infelicitous, unsuitable an unfortunate choice of words
b : deplorable, regrettable an unfortunate lack of taste

unfortunate

noun

Definition of unfortunate (Entry 2 of 2)

: an unfortunate person

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Examples of unfortunate in a Sentence

Adjective She was unfortunate enough to have been chosen as an example. an unfortunate chain of events It's unfortunate that he couldn't be here for your birthday. He has an unfortunate tendency to show up late. an unfortunate choice of words Noun a group of poor unfortunates
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That pairing had the unfortunate side effect of making both courses feel rather same-y on the flavor and texture fronts; not the most exciting way to end a meal that was otherwise characterized by intriguing variations. San Francisco Chronicle, "Soleil Ho | Hina Yakitori’s $110 tasting menu unleashes the power of poultry, and it's worth it," 29 Nov. 2019 Republicans admit to an unfortunate choice of words and aid delayed — but not denied. George Petras, USA Today, "Key moments from all the Trump impeachment hearings," 21 Nov. 2019 That said, the optics of this entire episode is unfortunate. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "CNN Appoints Some ‘Leaders on Impeachment’: raceAhead," 30 Sep. 2019 An unfortunate side effect of being at the literal center of his show is that Prydz has never seen EPIC himself. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "Eric Prydz’s 5-ton Holosphere shows the ambitious future of concert tech," 20 Aug. 2019 The tale centers on the orphaned Jules and his two older siblings, following the trio through a series of events that are unfortunate but also joyful and funny. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "The Best Novels of 2019," 14 Nov. 2019 No one knows how many chimpanzees lurk or cower in the Muhororo forest remnants (maybe 20, maybe fewer?) or where their next unfortunate conflict with humans may occur. David Quammen, National Geographic, "‘I am scared all the time’: Chimps and people are clashing in rural Uganda," 8 Nov. 2019 Lynchings are a paradigmatic, if unfortunate, example. Rajesh Kasturirangan, Quartz India, "Authoritarian regimes are using algorithms to control minds and power," 3 Oct. 2019 In episode 10, Abby (Elisha Cuthbert) drops the unfortunate news that Nick (Josh Burrow) is back in Garrison. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'The Ranch' Part 7 Ended on a Major Cliffhanger and Everyone Is Freaking Out," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The film's title is a shape representing the meeting point between the physical world and the one beyond; hairy, patient moths seem to hold the souls of some unfortunates, though why some people meet this fate is unclear. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "‘8’: Film Review | Fantasia 2019," 23 July 2019 Our family name, Ramirez, is the same name of these unfortunates who did not make it across the river. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: We must see the human cost of the crisis at the border (6/29/19)," 30 June 2019 But that gentle slope has been known to cause strollers and wheelchairs to roll off as well, not to mention the intoxicated, the disoriented, wrestlers, and other unfortunates. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 These unfortunates spent hours each day chewing tough roots, choking down leaves and stems, munching on tiny berries and gorging on rare windfalls of meat, bone marrow and worms. Nathan H. Lents, WSJ, "The Botch of the Human Body," 13 Apr. 2018 As the threads of society break down, the poor unfortunates who survived the initial barrage don't so much live as merely exist in the post-apocalyptic ruins. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Sleep no more: Threads is coming to Blu-ray," 25 Jan. 2018 There are still unfortunates among us who have yet to lean forward and squint in disbelief at the grainy YouTube images capturing Tharpe, necklines high and hemlines low, coaxing the first, fiery licks from her Gibson SG. Andrea Simakis, cleveland.com, "'Marie and Rosetta' brings the music and moxie of Rock Hall inductee Sister Rosetta Tharpe to Cleveland Play House (Preview)," 21 Jan. 2018 Humor is generally the province of trolls; think of the motley assemblage of unfortunates in the slovenly writers’ room on 30 Rock, and that gives you an accurate picture of the setting in which most good jokes and satire are created in America. David Kamp, vanityfair.com, "The Years with Graydon," 7 Sep. 2017 But before that, Wilkerson would spend that year haranguing unfortunates in the Hollywood community who would go on to become targets of the blacklist, often losing their careers. Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "The Columnist Who Shaped Hollywood’s Most Destructive Witch Hunt," 28 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unfortunate.' 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 unfortunate

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1683, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unfortunate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for unfortunate

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Unfortunate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfortunate?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=u&file=unfort01. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for unfortunate

unfortunate

adjective
How to pronounce unfortunate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unfortunate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having bad luck
: coming or happening by bad luck
: not appropriate or desirable

unfortunate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of unfortunate (Entry 2 of 2)

literary : an unfortunate person

unfortunate

adjective
un·​for·​tu·​nate | \ ˌən-ˈfȯr-chə-nət How to pronounce unfortunate (audio) \

Kids Definition of unfortunate

1 : not fortunate : unlucky the unfortunate victim an unfortunate incident
2 : accompanied by or resulting in bad luck an unfortunate decision
3 : not proper or suitable an unfortunate remark

Other Words from unfortunate

unfortunately adverb Unfortunately, no one was home.

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Comments on unfortunate

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