• synonyms


[mis-fawr-chuh n]
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  1. adverse fortune; bad luck.
  2. an instance of this; mischance; mishap.
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Origin of misfortune

1400–50; late Middle English. See mis-1, fortune


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2. accident; disaster, calamity, catastrophe; reverse; blow.

Synonym study

2. See affliction.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for misfortunes

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Festivals in honour of Zeus, because he delivered men from misfortunes and dangers.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Pericles has borne all his misfortunes with the dignity of an immortal.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • I, to her misfortunes—she through the brutality of the king.

    Theresa Marchmont

    Mrs Charles Gore

  • The principal pleasure of your life is to remind your family of their misfortunes.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • All kinds of misfortunes, accidents, and storms had been its lot.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

British Dictionary definitions for misfortunes


  1. evil fortune; bad luck
  2. an unfortunate or disastrous event; calamity
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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 misfortunes



mid-15c., from mis- (1) + fortune. Related: Misfortunate.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper