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 Critics are unhappy that the alliance is not publicly releasing key data that would allow for public oversight. Natasha Gilbert, Science | AAAS, "Industry says voluntary plan to curb antibiotic pollution is working, but critics want regulation," 24 Jan. 2020 Here are some unhappy statistics: In America between 1946 and 2006, the suicide rate quadrupled for males ages 15 to 24 and doubled for females the same age. Dennis Prager, National Review, "Why Are So Many Young People Unhappy?," 21 Jan. 2020 One unhappy user is Jessica Shorts, who turned to SmileDirectClub in 2017 to fix a slightly crooked tooth. Erin Griffith, New York Times, "This Company Says It Will Fix Your Smile. It May Shush You if It Doesn’t.," 21 Jan. 2020 According to a Senate recollection of the incident, kitchen staffers, unhappy at working until the wee hours of the morning, may have allowed the senator’s eggnog to ferment a little too long on the counter. Washington Post, "Presiding officer: “There is nothing in the rules to prohibit the Senator from requesting a glass of milk.”," 21 Jan. 2020 Given how unhappy Harry and Meghan have been with the media, this seems to be a major motivation for their wanting to step back from their positions as senior members of the royal family and to seek out financial independence. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Everything We Do (and Don’t) Know About Meghan and Harry's New Roles in the Royal Family," 17 Jan. 2020 Previous research revealed that teens who spend more time on digital media are more likely to be depressed and unhappy. Jean Twenge, The Conversation, "Why teen depression rates are rising faster for girls than boys," 16 Jan. 2020 Alas, all happy automata words oscillated alike, and all unhappy automata words oscillated differently. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Made the World's First Chemical Turing Machine," 9 Jan. 2020 Her son, Nikko, 11, loves exotics, so Fotion was unhappy that those were off-limits. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "New Novi auto show not a replacement for Detroit show, but you can see cars, even exotics," 4 Jan. 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

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unhappy.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unhappiness. Accessed 28 January 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

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


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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