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
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Recent Examples on the Web Economic pain is still being felt and, unfortunately, there is no quick fix. NBC News, "Latest weekly jobless claims fall to 730,000 vs. 845,000 expected," 25 Feb. 2021 This isn't meant to be a definitive list, but the following three situations are unfortunately some of the most common. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "How to Do a Reverse Image Search," 23 Feb. 2021 Goran Dragic is a talented and a lovely guy, but unfortunately seems to frequently have leg issues when the team needs him. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Would DeMarcus Cousins make sense for Heat (and would Heat make sense for Cousins)?," 21 Feb. 2021 The year 2020 may finally be over, but — unfortunately — the COVID-19 pandemic is far from it. Katherine Singh, refinery29.com, "Where You Can Get Your Hair Cut In Ontario & What Else Is Opening," 10 Feb. 2021 That unfortunately seems the foreordained outcome of the Senate trial. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Democrats Are Screwing Up Trump’s Impeachment Trial," 8 Feb. 2021 There is, unfortunately, no substitute for strong environmental legislation, and Congress hasn’t approved a major environmental bill since 1990. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, "A New Day for the Climate," 31 Jan. 2021 Pricing is unfortunately not available, but look for the SCAR notebooks ship sometime in the next two months. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Asus's wild dual-screen ROG Zephyrus Duo laptop taps Ryzen 5000, RTX 30-series," 12 Jan. 2021 And unfortunately, that's the only way that Robinhood communicates, is through email. CBS News, "Former Robinhood workers detail complaints about customer service as new lawsuit says company's negligence contributed to Alex Kearns' suicide," 9 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for unfortunately

Time Traveler

The first known use of unfortunately was circa 1548

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Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unfortunately.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfortunately. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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