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unfortunate

[uhn-fawr-chuh-nit]
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adjective
  1. suffering from bad luck: an unfortunate person.
  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.
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noun
  1. an unfortunate person.
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Origin of unfortunate

First recorded in 1520–30; un-1 + fortunate
Related formsun·for·tu·nate·ly, adverbun·for·tu·nate·ness, noun

Synonyms

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


Examples from the Web for unfortunate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was unfortunate as to time, owing to the condition of affairs in Italy.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • She had just taken the class, and was so unfortunate as not to be acquainted with their names.

  • The unfortunate victim of the law came perilously close to despair then.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • It would have been unfortunate if it were otherwise, for he is very poor indeed.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • You have an unfortunate way, Eileen, of defeating your own ends.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter


British Dictionary definitions for unfortunate

unfortunate

adjective
  1. causing or attended by misfortune
  2. unlucky, unsuccessful, or unhappyan unfortunate character
  3. regrettable or unsuitablean unfortunate speech
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noun
  1. an unlucky person
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Derived Formsunfortunateness, noun
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 unfortunate

adj.

1520s, "unlucky," from un- (1) "not" + fortunate. Infortunate in same sense is from late 14c. (along with a verb infortune "to render unhappy," and a noun meaning "bad luck). In late 18c.-early 19c., unfortunate woman was a polite way to say "prostitute." The noun meaning "one who is not fortunate" is recorded from 1630s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper