un·​hap·​py | \ ˌən-ˈha-pē How to pronounce unhappy (audio) \

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 Sometimes, this pressure comes from customers unhappy with the company’s stance on an issue. The Economist, "Bartleby Keeping stakeholderism practical," 4 July 2020 As a result, politicians unhappy with the major platforms’ evolving approach to gatekeeping can migrate to newer, or less stringent, outlets. Philip M. Napoli, Wired, "What Trump's Twitter and Clinton's Sax Have in Common," 2 July 2020 University administrators are coming to grips with an unhappy reality: the biggest stadiums in the U.S. are going to look pretty... Laine Higgins, WSJ, "College Football’s New Headache: Deciding Who Can Attend Games," 30 June 2020 Parent Angela Lierni said her students’ experiences with virtual classes left them unhappy, pessimistic about the future and no longer excited about learning new things. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "Loudoun schools will offer part-time in-person or full-time virtual learning," 30 June 2020 The California Nurses Association, one of Sanders’ earliest and strongest supporters, has been unhappy with the governor for not moving more quickly to put Medicare for All into effect in the state. John Wildermuth, SFChronicle.com, "Gavin Newsom left out as California Democrats pick convention delegation leaders," 27 June 2020 As a rule of thumb, the literary work is more honest, and more unhappy, than the genre. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "Indulging with Control in Fiction," 24 June 2020 The presidential candidate for the Green Party is hoping to win over disenfranchised Democrats unhappy with the party's nominee. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "'We need economic justice': Green Party presidential candidate pitches platform," 23 June 2020 Most of us experience these unhappy musings but can dismiss them as unreasonable and therefore impertinent. Barrett Swanson, Harper's Magazine, "This Is Not a Test," 23 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for unhappy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for unhappy

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unhappy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unhappy. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for unhappy


How to pronounce unhappy (audio)

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 How to pronounce unhappy (audio) \
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

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