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

Definition of unfortunately

1 : it is unfortunate Unfortunately, in the intervening years, time has not stood still for the global environment.— Al Gore A young man can work at excessive speed with no ill effects, but youth is unfortunately not a permanent condition of life.— F. Scott Fitzgerald The past couple years have ended unfortunately for us, and we're using it as motivation.— James Moyers
2 : in a regrettable, unlucky, or unsuitable manner : in an unfortunate manner "Have you an agreeable neighbourhood here? Are the Middletons pleasant people?" "No, not all," answered Marianne; "we could not be more unfortunately situated."— Jane Austen

Examples of unfortunately in a Sentence

Our awards program evaluates wine lists, not restaurants as a whole. While we assume the level of food and service will be commensurate with the quality of the wine lists submitted by award winners, this unfortunately is not always true. Wine Spectator, 31 Aug. 2008 Coral reefs provide essential goods and services to maritime tropical nations and are the most diverse marine ecosystems on the planet. Unfortunately, reefs are seriously declining because of global warming. — Andrea G. Grottoli et al., Nature, 27 Apr. 2006 There are many books announcing a global economic transformation and suggesting that governments can be reengineered to adapt to it in much the same way as corporations.  … Unfortunately the problems of globalization are more intractable than those of corporate life. States cannot be phased out like bankrupt firms, and large shifts in wealth and power tend to be fiercely contested. — John Gray, New York Review of Books, 11 Aug. 2005 Doctors have long believed that children experience pain differently than adults. Unfortunately, most doctors thought kids felt pain less than grownups do, and didn't retain memory of it. As late as the 1970s, infants underwent major surgery without anesthetics.  … This barbaric notion was finally put to rest in the 1980s … — Michael D. Lemonick, Time, 28 Feb. 2005 In the aftermath of the Revolution, Americans desperately needed some non-British heroes. Columbus filled the bill even though no one knew much about him until novelist Washington Irving visited Spain, found a rich lode of source materials and produced a widely read biography. Unfortunately, Irving mixed fiction with fact, and one of his most graphic scenes, set in Salamanca, was wildly imaginative. — Owen Gingerich, Scientific American, November 1992
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Recent Examples on the Web

Those Democrats are, unfortunately, undermining their party’s political well-being. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Gentlemen, you can’t fight here, this is the debate stage!," 28 June 2019 The first game back was not a good one, unfortunately. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers hit season's halfway point on the skids, but manager Craig Counsell remains optimistic," 27 June 2019 Birmingham is in need of widespread street paving, which, unfortunately, is very expensive. Anna Beahm | Abeahm@al.com, al.com, "What’s worse than potholes? Crude art, apparently," 24 June 2019 The latter is true, unfortunately, even though the setup for Men in Black International suggests that the former might have been possible at some point during production. Josh Spiegel, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Hidden Potential of 'Men in Black: International'," 15 June 2019 The bill is both terrifying in its breadth and is unfortunately not an anomaly. Hannah Brashers, Allure, "Early Abortion Laws: Which States Have Passed Them, and How Can You Help Those Affected?," 6 June 2019 But unfortunately for the rats and for Corrigan’s surprisingly tender heart, fast-acting poisons don’t work well; rats that feel ill after a bite or two stop eating the bait. Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic, "How rats became an inescapable part of city living," 17 June 2019 This moment of veracity is immediately turned into an ideological lesson, unfortunately. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Beautiful Voyage': Film Review | Shanghai 2019," 16 June 2019 But unfortunately the show was cancelled after just two seasons. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Yara Shahidi's Net Worth Is Crazy High for a 19-Year-Old," 14 June 2019

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

circa 1548, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for unfortunately

The first known use of unfortunately was circa 1548

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More from Merriam-Webster on unfortunately

Spanish Central: Translation of unfortunately

Nglish: Translation of unfortunately for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unfortunately for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unfortunately

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