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

When the sitcom ended in May 1998, many fans were unhappy with the series finale. Hal Boedeker, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Seinfeld’ at 30: TBS plans July 5 marathon," 11 June 2019 The 37-year-old singer was unhappy with paparazzi photos that appeared online of her during a boat ride in Miami, wearing a yellow and black bikini. PEOPLE.com, "Britney Spears Accuses the Paparazzi of Photoshopping Her to Look Heavier," 11 June 2019 More than 60 percent of patients who experienced a medical error were unhappy with how providers communicated with them afterward. Liz Kowalczyk, BostonGlobe.com, "Medical errors prevalent and costly, new survey of Massachusetts residents shows," 10 June 2019 Can a mirror help people who are unhappy with their bodies feel better about themselves? Suzanne Oliver, WSJ, "How a Mirror Can Help People Who Hate Their Bodies," 29 Apr. 2019 Gallant had been unhappy with the compete level of his team in the opener, but that wasn’t a problem early as Eakin scored just 58 seconds into the game after being left alone in the slot and the Golden Knights controlling the play early. Josh Dubow, The Seattle Times, "Golden Knights tie series with Sharks with 5-3 win in Game 2," 13 Apr. 2019 Local governments and water utilities remain unhappy with the new rules, which were drafted and revised over a two-year period. David Eggert, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan now has nation's toughest rules for lead in drinking water," 14 June 2018 While Alaskans remain unhappy with the overall state of the economy, public opinion appears to have hit rock bottom. Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Chamber: Our polling shows budget, reducing spending are Alaskans’ top priorities," 22 Mar. 2018 Caitlin, on the other hand, was dealing with unhappy clients who felt as though they weren’t kept in the loop. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "See the Dramatic Reveal from the Best Room Wins Series Premiere," 2 May 2019

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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Statistics for unhappy

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for unhappy

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 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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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