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

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
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 The past couple years have ended unfortunately for us, and we're using it as motivation.— James Moyers

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
Recent Examples on the Web And unfortunately, every disease sort of needs its own attention. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 15 June 2022 But unfortunately, Ruby was diagnosed with cancer and died in May 2022. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 14 June 2022 This low-profile daypack is designed specifically for women—and even comes in a 16-liter plus-size version, an unfortunately rare option amongst many popular outdoor brands. SELF, 14 June 2022 But the film doesn’t, unfortunately, stay in this realm. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 June 2022 Narcissism is, unfortunately, not a totally uncommon characteristic or condition. Olivia Muenter, Woman's Day, 14 June 2022 Like the crab cake, the dish was $29; lobster prices, all prices, are high, and unfortunately for the consumer this isn’t a crazy price for a lobster roll in a Boston restaurant right now. Gordon Hamersley, BostonGlobe.com, 14 June 2022 This annual ritual unfortunately occurs during the autumn migratory season, when billions of small songbirds undertake long flights through North American skies. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 13 June 2022 My mother, unfortunately, was schizophrenic and paranoid. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 12 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of unfortunately

circa 1548, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler

The first known use of unfortunately was circa 1548

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Last Updated

17 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unfortunately.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfortunately. Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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