adjective un·hap·py \ ˌən-ˈha-pē \
Updated on: 14 Jan 2018

Definition of unhappy

1 : not fortunate : unlucky
  • an unhappy coincidence
2 : not cheerful or glad : sad, wretched
3 a : causing or subject to misfortune : inauspicious
b : infelicitous, inappropriate
  • an unhappy choice



Examples of unhappy in a Sentence

  1. I can see that he's unhappy, but I don't know why.

  2. I've never seen her looking so unhappy.

  3. For three unhappy days we were all stuck in the house because of the blizzard.

  4. an unhappy choice of career

  5. The movie's hero meets an unhappy fate.

Recent Examples of unhappy from the Web

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.

First Known Use of unhappy

14th century

unhappy Synonyms

bad, blue, brokenhearted, cast down, crestfallen, dejected, depressed, despondent, disconsolate, doleful, down, downcast, downhearted, down in the mouth, droopy, forlorn, gloomy, glum, hangdog, heartbroken, heartsick, heartsore, heavyhearted, inconsolable, joyless, low, low-spirited, melancholic, melancholy, miserable, mournful, saddened, sorrowful, sorry, sad, woebegone, woeful, wretched
blissful, buoyant, buoyed, cheerful, cheery, chipper, delighted, glad, gladdened, gladsome, gleeful, happy, joyful, joyous, jubilant, sunny, upbeat
Related Words
aggrieved, distressed, troubled, uneasy, unquiet, upset, worried; despairing, hopeless, sunk; disappointed, discouraged, disheartened, dispirited; suicidal; dolorous, lachrymose, lugubrious, plaintive, tearful; regretful, rueful; agonized, anguished, grieving, wailing, weeping; black, bleak, cheerless, comfortless, dark, darkening, depressing, desolate, dismal, drear, dreary, elegiac (also elegiacal), funereal, gray (also grey), morbid, morose, murky, saturnine, somber (or sombre), sullen
Near Antonyms
ecstatic, elated, enraptured, entranced, euphoric, exhilarated, exuberant, exultant, overjoyed, rapturous, rhapsodic (also rhapsodical); blithe, blithesome, jocose, jocular, jocund, jolly, jovial, lightsome, merry, mirthful; excited, thrilled; hopeful, optimistic, rosy, sanguine; encouraged, heartened; animated, bouncing, energetic, frisky, jaunty, lively, peppy, perky, spirited, sprightful, sprightly, springy, vital, vivacious, zippy; content, gratified, pleased, satisfied; beaming, grinning, laughing, smiling; boon, carefree, careless, cavalier, devil-may-care, easygoing, happy-go-lucky, insouciant, lighthearted, unconcerned

UNHAPPY Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of unhappy for English Language Learners

  • : sad, depressed, or disappointed : not happy

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

  • : not appropriate or lucky

UNHAPPY Defined for Kids


adjective un·hap·py \ ˌən-ˈha-pē \

Definition of unhappy for Students

unhappier; unhappiest
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


\-ˈha-pə-lē\ adverb


\-ˈha-pē-nəs\ noun

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of, relating to, or resembling a lion

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