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See more synonyms for infelicity on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural in·fe·lic·i·ties for 3, 5.
  1. the quality or state of being unhappy; unhappiness.
  2. misfortune; bad luck.
  3. an unfortunate circumstance; misfortune.
  4. inaptness, inappropriateness, or awkwardness, as of action or expression.
  5. something inapt or infelicitous: infelicities of style.
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Origin of infelicity

1350–1400; Middle English infelicite < Latin infēlīcitās. See in-3, felicity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for infelicity

affliction, disappointment, hardship, misadventure, inconvenience, discomfort, mishap, cataclysm, calamity, debacle, setback, misery, tribulation, disadvantage, tragedy, adversity, catastrophe, grief, woe, sadness

Examples from the Web for infelicity

Historical Examples of infelicity

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

    Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I

    Francis Augustus Cox

  • 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
  1. the state or quality of being unhappy or unfortunate
  2. an instance of bad luck or mischance; misfortune
  3. something, esp a remark or expression, that is inapt or inappropriate
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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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper