View synonyms for hapless


[ hap-lis ]


  1. unlucky; luckless; unfortunate.

    Synonyms: pathetic, forlorn, wretched, woebegone, miserable, pitiable


/ ˈhæplɪs /


  1. unfortunate; wretched

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Derived Forms

  • ˈhaplessly, adverb
  • ˈhaplessness, noun

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Other Words From

  • hapless·ly adverb
  • hapless·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of hapless1

First recorded in 1560–70; hap 1 + -less

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Example Sentences

Stewart’s hapless journey provided the first details of a shadowy network of brokers and investors who were pursuing billions in loosely monitored contracts from government agencies desperately trying to deal with the virus.

Starring Eddie Murphy as Prince Akeem and Arsenio Hall as his hapless best friend, the movie follows as the royal searches for his queen in Queens, New York.

From Time

One of those people is Lethem’s hapless hero, Sandy Duplessis.

So their “Monday Night Football” matchup in the Meadowlands with the hapless, hopeless Jets arrives at a good time for them.

I had written about my first, hapless foray into the woods for Quartz, and the article attracted the attention of Rinella’s publicists.

From Quartz

It helps that Wendy Davis is a hapless opponent, but as a test proving it can be done, any success is welcomed.

“At first I was happy to be learning to read,” explains the hapless adult illiterate Office Barbrady in an early episode.

It becomes a hapless gesture of uninformed social media departments who perceive the potential of engagement without consequences.

With them are thousands of other hapless mall-goers, descending rapidly into deadly anarchy.

Finally, Cleese goose-steps out of the dining room as the hapless Germans cringe and sob.

Lawrence, when the day was lost, rode back to prepare the hapless Europeans in the city for the hazard that now threatened.

In the dressing-room beyond the larger room where that strange interview was to take place, the hapless man lay on a bed.

In some vague way Jessie connected the mystery with the hapless creature whom she knew now to be the King of Asturia.

It was into a cell adjoining that which the hapless queen had occupied that Madame Roland was cast.

He was soon at full speed again, on his futile race: a hapless idealist in pursuit of lost dreams.


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