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 unsuccessful (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 Attempts to reach Brendan Green and other members of the Green family were unsuccessful, including at his Virginia apartment. BostonGlobe.com, "Capitol suspect struggled before attack, but motive remains unclear," 4 Apr. 2021 Officials brought in rocks and materials to plug the hole in the pond late Friday into Saturday, but the attempt was unsuccessful. Fox News, "Leak at wastewater pond prompts evacuations in Florida," 4 Apr. 2021 Jacob Sauer, director of public safety for Manatee County, said officials continue attempting to repair the leak, adding that efforts by Manatee County Public Works to fix the leak on Friday were unsuccessful. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "Ron DeSantis declares state of emergency for Florida county due to leak at wastewater pond," 3 Apr. 2021 Attempts to reach Brendan Green and other members of the Green family were unsuccessful, including at his Virginia apartment. New York Times, "Capitol Suspect Struggled Before Attack, but Motive Remains Unclear," 3 Apr. 2021 Efforts to reach the Gila River Indian community were unsuccessful. Michael Knight, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Speedway about to face its final checkered flag on Saturday," 3 Apr. 2021 The South Florida Sun Sentinel’s attempt to reach the victims by phone for comment were unsuccessful. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Blind date arrested following home invasion robbery and shooting in Miramar, police say," 2 Apr. 2021 If next month’s appeal is unsuccessful, there’s a possibility that Roof may not be executed in the next four years, according to The AP. Ashlee Banks, Essence, "Dylann Roof's Lawyers Try to Overturn His Conviction and Death Sentence," 2 Apr. 2021 Since the incident, police have made several attempts to locate and arrest Smith but have been unsuccessful. oregonlive, "Portland woman found dead after telling police she feared for her life," 31 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for unsuccessful

Time Traveler

The first known use of unsuccessful was in 1617

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Statistics for unsuccessful

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unsuccessful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unsuccessful. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for unsuccessful



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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