un·​suc·​cess·​ful ˌən-sək-ˈses-fəl How to pronounce unsuccessful (audio)
: not successful : not meeting with or producing success
unsuccessfully 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 Efforts to resuscitate the woman were unsuccessful. Ron Wood, arkansasonline.com, 19 Feb. 2024 Attempts to reach the defendant production companies were unsuccessful. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2024 Eastman's attempts to order the lollipops were unsuccessful because there was not funding available, the whistleblower said. Kerry Breen, CBS News, 16 Feb. 2024 Efforts to save his life were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead, according to the news release. Robert A. Cronkleton, Kansas City Star, 16 Feb. 2024 Both the city vote and Pressley’s legal challenge were unsuccessful. Cody Copeland, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 14 Feb. 2024 While ultimately unsuccessful, Astrobotic’s launch signaled the starting gun for another heat in the race to develop space, with private industry expected to play a leading role. Robert Hart, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 But attempts to challenge the patents on Compass' synthetic psilocybin have been unsuccessful, despite years of work by Turnbull’s patent watchdog group, Freedom to Operate. Matthew Perrone, Quartz, 5 Feb. 2024 McDaniel faced a week of withering attacks launched by far-right figures spearheaded by the group Turning Point, a glitzy and well-funded organization founded by 30-year-old media figure Charlie Kirk, who was part of an unsuccessful effort to oust McDaniel last year. Thomas Beaumont and Brian Slodysko The Associated Press, arkansasonline.com, 4 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unsuccessful.' 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

1617, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unsuccessful was in 1617

Dictionary Entries Near unsuccessful

Cite this Entry

“Unsuccessful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsuccessful. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​suc·​cess·​ful ˌən(t)-sək-ˈses-fəl How to pronounce unsuccessful (audio)
: not successful : not having or producing success
unsuccessfully adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on unsuccessful

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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