un·​hap·​py ˌən-ˈha-pē How to pronounce unhappy (audio)
: not fortunate : unlucky
an unhappy coincidence
: not cheerful or glad : sad, wretched
: causing or subject to misfortune : inauspicious
: infelicitous, inappropriate
an unhappy choice
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.
Recent Examples on the Web Americans are unhappy with their choices for president. Kara Dapena, WSJ, 26 Sep. 2023 Don’t be surprised if the person in the Victim role is unhappy with you or immediately seeks out another Rescuer. Neha Sangwan, Fortune Well, 26 Sep. 2023 Although some shareholders were unhappy with the price, Toshiba argued that there was no prospect of a higher offer or competing bid. Reuters, CNN, 21 Sep. 2023 Many residents argue that New York City cannot manage this influx on its own and are unhappy with the leadership of Mayor Eric Adams, Gov. Kathy Hochul, and President Joe Biden – all Democrats for whom this 17-month period has turned into a fiscal, logistical, and political quagmire. Hillary Chura, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Sep. 2023 The baristas were surprised by the announcement and unhappy about the fact that Bennett asked them to re-apply for their jobs. oregonlive, 19 Sep. 2023 That’s not to say everyone who is successful, wealthy, or popular is unhappy, or even that ambition is inherently bad. Jamie Ducharme, TIME, 18 Sep. 2023 Raised in a conservative, Christian household, Jordan was unhappy to learn Wood would be her AP English teacher back in 2019, Jordan’s junior year. Hannah Natanson, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Sep. 2023 The local Arab militia was unhappy, and there was sporadic violence thereafter. Alex De Waal, Foreign Affairs, 18 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unhappy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near unhappy

Cite this Entry

“Unhappy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unhappy. Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


un·​hap·​py ˌən-ˈhap-ē How to pronounce unhappy (audio)
: not fortunate : unlucky
an unhappy mistake
: not cheerful : sad
: inappropriate
an unhappy color combination

More from Merriam-Webster on unhappy

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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