un·​suc·​cess·​ful | \ ˌən-sək-ˈses-fəl How to pronounce unsuccessful (audio) \

Definition of unsuccessful

: not successful : not meeting with or producing success

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Other Words from unsuccessful

unsuccessfully \ ˌən-​sək-​ˈses-​fə-​lē How to pronounce unsuccessfully (audio) \ adverb

Examples of unsuccessful in a Sentence

His last novel was unsuccessful. an unsuccessful attempt to fix the faucet ourselves

Recent Examples on the Web

After an unsuccessful foray into the smart home, Silk Labs developed on-device machine learning services. James Vincent, The Verge, "Apple reportedly buys AI startup with privacy-conscious approach," 21 Nov. 2018 One spoke in Latin, quoting Tacitus on Britain’s valiant if unsuccessful effort to fight off invasion by the Romans. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Brexit Hard-Liners Reassess: Maybe We Overplayed Our Hand," 11 Apr. 2019 Monsanto’s shares, after trading at levels beyond Bayer’s means, had become affordable, having tanked that year due to both the U.S. company’s unsuccessful pursuit of Swiss rival Syngenta and a global slump in commodity prices. Ruth Bender, WSJ, "Bayer Pursued Monsanto Despite Weedkiller Suits and Executive’s Concern," 25 Nov. 2018 Bristol-Myers Squibb shareholders on Friday approved the company’s $74 billion acquisition of rival Celgene Corp., looking past an unsuccessful activist campaign to break up the deal. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, "Bristol-Myers Shareholders Approve $74 Billion Deal For Celgene," 12 Apr. 2019 The political action committee that ran the ad was originally formed to support U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson's unsuccessful presidential campaign. Fox News, "Attack ad against McCaskill slammed as 'Islamophobic'," 27 Sep. 2018 Solo most recently ran an unsuccessful campaign to become the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Hope Solo says youth soccer in the U.S. has become a 'rich, white kid sport'," 28 June 2018 Gallion has run unsuccessful campaigns in the past for Harford County Council and state delegate. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Despite party pressure to withdraw, Gallion says he's staying in Harford senate," 18 June 2018 Lamont, a telecommunications magnate and second-time candidate for governor, featured a group of his former students in a television ad during his unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in 2006. Neil Vigdor, courant.com, "Ned Lamont Denies Joe Ganim's Charge That He Exaggerated Role As 'Volunteer' Teacher In Bridgeport," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unsuccessful.' 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 unsuccessful

1617, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unsuccessful

Last Updated

5 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for unsuccessful

The first known use of unsuccessful was in 1617

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English Language Learners Definition of unsuccessful

: not having or producing success : not successful


un·​suc·​cess·​ful | \ ˌən-sək-ˈses-fəl How to pronounce unsuccessful (audio) \

Kids Definition of unsuccessful

: not ending in or having gained success an unsuccessful attempt

Other Words from unsuccessful

unsuccessfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

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Comments on unsuccessful

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