View synonyms for unfortunate


[ uhn-fawr-chuh-nit ]


  1. suffering from bad luck:

    an unfortunate person.

    Synonyms: hapless, unsuccessful

  2. unfavorable or inauspicious:

    an unfortunate beginning.

  3. regrettable or deplorable:

    an unfortunate remark.

  4. marked by or inviting misfortune:

    an unfortunate development.

  5. lamentable; sad:

    the unfortunate death of her parents.


  1. an unfortunate person.


/ ʌnˈfɔːtʃənɪt /


  1. causing or attended by misfortune
  2. unlucky, unsuccessful, or unhappy

    an unfortunate character

  3. regrettable or unsuitable

    an unfortunate speech


  1. an unlucky person

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Derived Forms

  • unˈfortunateness, noun

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Other Words From

  • un·fortu·nate·ly adverb
  • un·fortu·nate·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of unfortunate1

First recorded in 1520–30; un- 1 + fortunate

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Example Sentences

Hansen says that vaccines have “an unfortunate history of not being safe,” but that the need for long-term safety studies needed to be balanced against the risks of the pandemic.

From Fortune

I thought about the unfortunate end of the “K” while reading in The Wall Street Journal that AT&T, once merely a phone company, wants to sells its advertising technology business, the unfortunately named Xandr.

From Fortune

While it’s obviously unfortunate when artists achieve greater success after death than when they were alive, that success is still something to be celebrated, Howard says.

From Ozy

Wherever you land on the gender spectrum, rocking a dress can be a freeing experience, and it’s unfortunate that the stigma deters people from enjoying it.

They’ve been hung up on — all kinds of things, which is really unfortunate because they’re working very, very hard and helping extra hours.

And when two bros start quoting the show to her, the unfortunate line, "Say 'old woman's pussy!'"

The unfortunate reality is that race, gender, and economic status do matter when justice is meted out.

It makes it seem all the more unfortunate, that having finally achieved such understanding, most of those personnel are leaving.

How ironic and unfortunate that the critics tend to focus on one “bad” class or the other.

There is no doubt that some unfortunate reporter, tasked with working the weekend shift, would have looked into them.

The moment was an awkward one, and Cynthia wished madly that she had not been prompted to ask that unfortunate question.

She and her younger sister, Janet, had quarreled a good deal through force of unfortunate habit.

Dressed in full uniform, amid cries of "Long live our King Joachim," the unfortunate man landed with twenty-six followers.

It was very unfortunate that the whole establishment stood in unaffected awe of the redoubted Mr Bellamy.

This selection was unfortunate; good strategist and organiser, he was not the man the Emperor required.


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