un·hap·py | \ ˌən-ˈha-pē \

Definition of unhappy 

1 : not fortunate : unlucky an unhappy coincidence

2 : not cheerful or glad : sad, wretched

3a : causing or subject to misfortune : inauspicious

b : infelicitous, inappropriate an unhappy choice

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Other words from unhappy

unhappiness noun

Examples of unhappy in a Sentence

I can see that he's unhappy, but I don't know why. I've never seen her looking so unhappy. For three unhappy days we were all stuck in the house because of the blizzard. an unhappy choice of career The movie's hero meets an unhappy fate.
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Recent Examples on the Web

That lonely, unhappy childhood is a key to understanding the young man’s abrasive style, Vines advised. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Is San Diego's Rev. Shane Harris ready for his national close-up?," 1 Apr. 2018 Seen from Asia, America is an unhappy, distracted democracy locked in competition with a confident, single-minded autocratic regime in China. The Economist, "Travels with General Dunford," 15 Feb. 2018 Shaw, who had signed a team-friendly deal and lived up the road in the Washington Court House, was more than little unhappy with then-GM Jim Bowden for making the deal. John Fay, Cincinnati.com, "Reds beat blog: Would the Reds trade a closer (Iglesias) and/or an All-Star (Gennett)? They did both in one trade in 1998," 10 July 2018 Some royal fans were understandably unhappy with Haslam's comments. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Charles' Friend Reportedly Called Meghan Markle's Family "Frightfully Common"," 5 July 2018 Mostly these just further inflamed mucous membranes already unhappy with the rarefied air, although someone was running something that evidently came in Tropical Punch flavor. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "7:57:148—Volkswagen makes racing history with record-breaking electric race car," 29 June 2018 Perhaps comedy, far from being disqualified for so unhappy a task, is the only genre that can tackle it. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "“The Death of Stalin” Dares to Make Evil Funny," 6 Mar. 2018 Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is unhappy the state is ending subsidies for city water bills. Detroit Free Press, "Flint Mayor Karen Weaver senses city's resurgence as lead pipes replaced," 30 Jan. 2018 Johnson, a loud pro-Brexit voice, was unhappy with May’s Brexit plan to keep the U.K. and the E.U. in a free-trade zone for goods and to commit Britain to maintaining the same rules as the bloc for goods and agricultural products. NBC News, "Brexit chaos: What happens next for British PM Theresa May?," 10 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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The first known use of unhappy was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of unhappy

: sad, depressed, or disappointed : not happy

: causing or involving feelings of sadness : not pleasant or joyful

: not appropriate or lucky


un·hap·py | \ ˌən-ˈha-pē \
unhappier; unhappiest

Kids Definition of unhappy

1 : not cheerful : sad an unhappy person

2 : not pleased or satisfied We were unhappy with the hotel room.

3 : full of or showing feelings of sadness or misery an unhappy childhood an unhappy face

4 : not fortunate : unlucky an unhappy coincidence

5 : not suitable : inappropriate an unhappy choice

Other words from unhappy

unhappily \-ˈha-pə-lē \ adverb
unhappiness \-ˈha-pē-nəs \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on unhappy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unhappy

Spanish Central: Translation of unhappy

Nglish: Translation of unhappy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unhappy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unhappy

What made you want to look up unhappy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


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