adversity

Synonym Chooser

How does the noun adversity differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of adversity are mischance, misfortune, and mishap. While all these words mean "adverse fortune or an instance of this," adversity applies to a state of grave or persistent misfortune.

had never experienced great adversity

When is it sensible to use mischance instead of adversity?

The words mischance and adversity are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, mischance applies especially to a situation involving no more than slight inconvenience or minor annoyance.

took the wrong road by mischance

When might misfortune be a better fit than adversity?

The meanings of misfortune and adversity largely overlap; however, misfortune may apply to either the incident or conjunction of events that is the cause of an unhappy change of fortune or to the ensuing state of distress.

never lost hope even in the depths of misfortune

When can mishap be used instead of adversity?

The synonyms mishap and adversity are sometimes interchangeable, but mishap applies to an often trivial instance of bad luck.

the usual mishaps of a family vacation

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Cite this Entry

“Adversity.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/adversity. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

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