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unhappy

[uhn-hap-ee]
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adjective, un·hap·pi·er, un·hap·pi·est.
  1. sad; miserable; wretched: Why is she so unhappy?
  2. unfortunate; unlucky: an unhappy incident.
  3. unfavorable; inauspicious: an unhappy omen.
  4. infelicitous; unsuitable: an unhappy choice of words.
  5. Archaic. causing trouble; reprehensible; troublesome.
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Origin of unhappy

1250–1300; Middle English: causing misfortune, objectionable; see un-1, happy
Related formsun·hap·pi·ly, adverbun·hap·pi·ness, noun

Synonyms

See more synonyms for unhappy on Thesaurus.com
1. sorrowful, downcast, cheerless, distressed. 2. hapless. 3. unpropitious. 4. inappropriate, inapt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unhappy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And were you as unhappy as you expected to be during this visit?

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • But, my daughter, why is it that the commands of Phidias would have made you unhappy?

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • It was this refusal which made Halbert discontented and unhappy.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • “Alack for the unhappy lads; and alack for those who egged them on,” said the priest.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • The unhappy woman, to whom I had specially come, was smitten indeed.


British Dictionary definitions for unhappy

unhappy

adjective -pier or -piest
  1. not joyful; sad or depressed
  2. unfortunate or wretchedan unhappy fellow
  3. tactless or inappropriatean unhappy remark
  4. archaic unfavourable
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Derived Formsunhappily, adverbunhappiness, 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 unhappy

adj.

c.1300, "causing misfortune or trouble (to oneself or others)," from un- (1) "not" + happy. Meaning "unfortunate, unlucky" is recorded from late 14c.; sense of "miserable, wretched" is recorded from late 14c. (originally via misfortune or mishap).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper