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unhappy

[uhn-hap-ee]
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adjective, un·hap·pi·er, un·hap·pi·est.
  1. sad; miserable; wretched: Why is she so unhappy?
  2. unfortunate; unlucky: an unhappy incident.
  3. unfavorable; inauspicious: an unhappy omen.
  4. infelicitous; unsuitable: an unhappy choice of words.
  5. Archaic. causing trouble; reprehensible; troublesome.

Origin of unhappy

1250–1300; Middle English: causing misfortune, objectionable; see un-1, happy
Related formsun·hap·pi·ly, adverbun·hap·pi·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. sorrowful, downcast, cheerless, distressed. 2. hapless. 3. unpropitious. 4. inappropriate, inapt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unhappiness

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • All very well to say there would be no punishment; their unhappiness was the punishment.

  • Why should he efface himself, if it meant Sidney's unhappiness?

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • But her unhappiness was not because the Padres had been killed.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Can you possibly suppose that I was aware of her unhappiness!

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • Her letter to me admitted her error, and confessed her unhappiness; but there was no remedy.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper


British Dictionary definitions for unhappiness

unhappy

adjective -pier or -piest
  1. not joyful; sad or depressed
  2. unfortunate or wretchedan unhappy fellow
  3. tactless or inappropriatean unhappy remark
  4. archaic unfavourable
Derived Formsunhappily, adverbunhappiness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for unhappiness

unhappy

adj.

c.1300, "causing misfortune or trouble (to oneself or others)," from un- (1) "not" + happy. Meaning "unfortunate, unlucky" is recorded from late 14c.; sense of "miserable, wretched" is recorded from late 14c. (originally via misfortune or mishap).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper