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

Some are more unhappy than others at the administration’s pro-Israel tilt, and its up-and-down relationship with non-Arab Turkey is closely watched. Souad Mekhennet, The Seattle Times, "Nations fear fallout could trigger instability in the region," 23 Oct. 2018 Polyamory is not a quick fix to being unhappy in a current relationship. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "What Is Polyamory?," 19 Oct. 2018 This week the pushback seemed to escalate as unnamed officials told Reuters that U.S. military commanders are specifically unhappy with the no fly zone, which is to begin on November 1. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Doesn’t Want a No-Fly Zone Over the Korean DMZ. Here’s Why.," 18 Oct. 2018 Several other investors are already unhappy with the proposal, which Dell and investment firm Silver Lake announced in July, and Mr. Icahn’s public opposition lengthens the odds of winning shareholder approval. Cara Lombardo, WSJ, "Carl Icahn to Oppose Dell’s Purchase of DVMT Tracking Shares," 15 Oct. 2018 The former Today co-host is also reportedly unhappy with a situation much closer to home. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Here's What Matt Lauer Is Doing Now," 24 July 2018 The single, which was released in March alongside a steamy music video (watch below), sends a clear message to any person who's unhappy in a relationship. Jessica Roiz, Billboard, "Here's What Prince Royce Wants Your Boyfriend to Know In 'El Clavo' Lyric Translation," 11 July 2018 Mahrez has become increasingly unhappy at Leicester, with the winger still itching for that dream move to Manchester City. SI.com, "Leicester City Reportedly Make Offer of £25m for Turkey Teenager & Trabzonspor Prodigy," 2 July 2018 Many Senegalese are also unhappy that little of the country’s new wealth is trickling down to them. The Economist, "Senegal’s democracy is being tested by its president," 28 June 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

17 Nov 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).


by force of circumstances

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