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 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 Smith didn’t seem unhappy to get pushed after beating San Jose State and UC Davis by a collective count of 97-24. Ndaschel, oregonlive, 16 Sep. 2023 Servers are reporting an increase in abuse from diners—just last month, a restaurant employee was beaten unconscious by a group of unhappy customers in Memphis, according to local reports. Elena Soderblom, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2023 When taxi drivers, unhappy with municipal policies affecting them, slowed traffic and rallied outside City Hall, the commissioner likened them to terrorists and posted sharpshooters on nearby rooftops. Clyde Haberman, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2023 Players were also unhappy with Vilda, who some cast as a symbol of Spanish indifference to women’s soccer. Beatriz Ríos, Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2023 Distanced from his closest sibling by five years, Pratt was effectively an only child, and home was an unhappy place. Hazlitt, 6 Sep. 2023 But in what seems to be an unhappy trend, this Eugene place also recently closed. Kturnqui, oregonlive, 1 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 27 Sep. 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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