un·​hap·​py | \ ˌən-ˈha-pē How to pronounce unhappy (audio) \

Definition of unhappy

1 : not fortunate : unlucky an unhappy coincidence
2 : not cheerful or glad : sad, wretched
3a : causing or subject to misfortune : inauspicious
b : infelicitous, inappropriate an unhappy choice

Other Words from unhappy

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Vogel was especially unhappy when Davis dunked the ball and appeared to have been fouled by Antetokounmpo but no foul was called. Broderick Turner Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2021 But at the same time there’s evidence suggesting that kids are increasingly unhappy. David Marchese, New York Times, 14 Nov. 2021 Advocating a green agenda, the audience was understandably unhappy. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 6 Nov. 2021 Rick Carlisle was extremely unhappy with the non-ejection. Matthew Vantryon, The Indianapolis Star, 31 Oct. 2021 Groups that submitted maps and mobilized community members to testify before the commission are particularly unhappy with the commission's draft maps for the state House and Senate districts. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, 14 Oct. 2021 When the White House endorsed universal booster shots a few weeks ago, many scientists and doctors—yourself included—were vocally unhappy. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 23 Sep. 2021 Elmbrook School Board President Scott Wheeler acknowledged before the board vote that the community is divided on the topic and that whatever the board decided would probably make people on either side unhappy. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 Sep. 2021 The story line — written for the screen by Andrew Davies — ended in a very un-Austenian way, which made many viewers unhappy. BostonGlobe.com, 28 June 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of unhappy was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

27 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unhappy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unhappy. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for unhappy



English Language Learners Definition of unhappy

: sad, depressed, or disappointed : not happy
: causing or involving feelings of sadness : not pleasant or joyful
: not appropriate or lucky


un·​hap·​py | \ ˌən-ˈha-pē How to pronounce unhappy (audio) \
unhappier; unhappiest

Kids Definition of unhappy

1 : not cheerful : sad an unhappy person
2 : not pleased or satisfied We were unhappy with the hotel room.
3 : full of or showing feelings of sadness or misery an unhappy childhood an unhappy face
4 : not fortunate : unlucky an unhappy coincidence
5 : not suitable : inappropriate an unhappy choice

Other Words from unhappy

unhappily \ -​ˈha-​pə-​lē \ adverb
unhappiness \ -​ˈha-​pē-​nəs \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on unhappy

Nglish: Translation of unhappy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unhappy for Arabic Speakers


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