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[in-fuh-lis-i-tuh s] /ˌɪn fəˈlɪs ɪ təs/
inapt, inappropriate, or awkward; malapropos:
an infelicitous remark.
not felicitous, happy, or fortunate; unhappy.
Origin of infelicitous
First recorded in 1825-35; in-3 + felicitous
Related forms
infelicitously, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for infelicitous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To Mrs. Sutton's apprehension this was an infelicitous introduction of herself to the husband's toleration.

    At Last Marion Harland
  • The name of the gentleman who enjoyed this infelicitous distinction was Tretherick.

  • He hated the prisoner for his infelicitous and untimely crime, yet he could not make up his mind to his death.

  • Perhaps these circumstances gave the locality its infelicitous reputation.

    Legends and Tales Bret Harte
  • She had thought it very likely Robert Acton would come and see her; she had not met him since that infelicitous evening.

    The Europeans Henry James
  • In the first place, their choice of Monmouth as the heir was infelicitous.

  • Pray, sir, is it my infelicitous allusion to Miss Light's marriage?

    Roderick Hudson Henry James
  • Were it not that the salutation were infelicitous, we should have said, "Hail, all hail!"

  • Be that as it may, he often makes her serve as a symbol for material existence, obviously an infelicitous parallel.

    William Blake Irene Langridge
British Dictionary definitions for infelicitous


not felicitous; unfortunate
inappropriate or unsuitable
Derived Forms
infelicitously, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for infelicitous

1754, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + felicitous. Related: infelicitously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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