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 But unfortunately, my Real Housewives-taste on a college student budget doesn’t provide many opportunities to soak in the tub while clutching my diamonds. Sunset Magazine, "The Snacks, Cocktails, and Oscars-Inspired Recipes We’re Making This February," 7 Feb. 2020 As per usual, the 45-year-old actress and mom of two looks stunning as all get out in the clip, but unfortunately, that didn't stop an Instagram troll from attempting to tear her down with a rude comment about aging. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Eva Mendes Just Shut Down an Age-Shaming Troll on Instagram in the Most Amazing Way Ever," 2 Feb. 2020 You won't be allowed to purchase single pieces, unfortunately. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas Is Selling Its Furniture Before Closing Next Week," 29 Jan. 2020 Putin isn’t going away, unfortunately, and his influence looms large in nearly every global crisis point, from Ukraine to North Korea to Venezuela to Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Garry Kasparov, The New York Review of Books, "A Popular Front to Stop Trump," 28 Jan. 2020 But unfortunately, the executive order did not end there. Samantha Harris, National Review, "An Executive Order against Antisemitism Is Being Used to Justify Censorship," 23 Jan. 2020 And unfortunately, the information essential to assembling it—to understanding what the virus catchily labeled 2019-nCoV will do next—is only starting to trickle in. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Could China's New Coronavirus Become a Global Epidemic?," 21 Jan. 2020 Paris Fashion Week is in full swing, and unfortunately, people aren’t talking about Comme Des Garçons’ FW20 clothes. Brooklyn White, Essence, "Comme Des Garçons Is Being Accused Of Racism On The Runway," 17 Jan. 2020 The evening, hosted by Anna Wintour, the Hudson’s Bay Company CEO Helena Foulkes, and Youth Anxiety Center executive director Dr. Herbert Pardes, was centered on mental health—a matter that is, unfortunately, in need of all of our attention. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "At a Dinner for the Youth Anxiety Center, Anna Wintour Invited Guests to Partake in a Conversation on Mental Health," 9 Jan. 2020

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

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unfortunately.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfortunately. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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