noun, plural in·fe·lic·i·ties for 3, 5.

the quality or state of being unhappy; unhappiness.
misfortune; bad luck.
an unfortunate circumstance; misfortune.
inaptness, inappropriateness, or awkwardness, as of action or expression.
something inapt or infelicitous: infelicities of style.

Origin of infelicity

1350–1400; Middle English infelicite < Latin infēlīcitās. See in-3, felicity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for infelicity

Historical Examples of infelicity

  • Here we trace the origin of the infelicity of this religious household.

  • In an instant Christie saw the infelicity of her position, and its dangers.

    Devil's Ford

    Bret Harte

  • Senator Boompointer, unconscious of any infelicity in his interruption, was calmly waiting.


    Bret Harte

  • Life is an act of God: he would not have it marred again by infelicity like his own.

  • No man can judge of the happiness or infelicity of his neighbour.

    Munster Village

    Mary Hamilton

British Dictionary definitions for infelicity


noun plural -ties

the state or quality of being unhappy or unfortunate
an instance of bad luck or mischance; misfortune
something, esp a remark or expression, that is inapt or inappropriate
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 infelicity

late 14c., from Latin infelicitas "ill luck, misfortune," from infelix (genitive infelicis) "unfruitful, barren; unfortunate, unhappy, causing misfortune, unlucky," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + felix (see felicity).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper