-ˈfȯr-chə- How to pronounce unfortunately (audio)
: 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
: 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 Everyone is impacted by fatphobia and, unfortunately, solving that won’t be as simple as posting the occasional bikini photo. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, 28 Sep. 2023 Except, unfortunately, spirits have since melted after fans learned that the sculpture is not in fact solid milk fat—but hunks of butter molded around a wire mesh frame like papier-mâché. Li Goldstein, Bon Appétit, 25 Aug. 2023 There are, unfortunately, mothers who sell their own children. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 14 Aug. 2023 His examination of the lengths to which families will go to get into a top school and the many ways colleges weigh the scales in their own favor was prescient and, unfortunately, just as relevant today as when it was first published. The Editors, Town & Country, 3 Aug. 2023 So many of the supporting characters, unfortunately, get short shrift. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Aug. 2023 Straight back cornrows have unfortunately become the default hairstyle for Black models, largely due to the lack of proper training and understanding among hairstylists in caring for textured hair. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 2 Aug. 2023 What to know: The Blazers will unfortunately be without No. 3 overall draft pick Scoot Henderson who injured his shoulder on Friday in Portland’s first summer league matchup. oregonlive, 9 July 2023 This sweet pup was surrendered to AHS in June after his previous family, unfortunately, did not have the time or resources to give him any longer. The Republic, The Arizona Republic, 7 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unfortunately.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1548, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of unfortunately was circa 1548

Dictionary Entries Near unfortunately

Cite this Entry

“Unfortunately.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfortunately. Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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