follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

unfortunate

[uhn-fawr-chuh-nit] /ʌnˈfɔr tʃə nɪt/
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.
noun
6.
an unfortunate person.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; un-1 + fortunate
Related forms
unfortunately, adverb
unfortunateness, noun
Synonyms
1. unsuccessful, hapless.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for unfortunately
  • unfortunately, the spikes are both too short and too thin to do an efficient job.
  • unfortunately, there are few effective control measures.
  • unfortunately, they were feeding insects a little too well.
  • unfortunately there is no such thing as a deer-resistant rose yet.
  • The city's diversity in restaurants unfortunately doesn't extend to lodging.
  • unfortunately, results are inconsistent with instant chocolate pudding mixes.
  • unfortunately, though the task is smaller, there are several reasons why it could be a lot harder.
  • unfortunately the resemblance runs deeper than that.
  • unfortunately firms have not had much else to offer.
  • unfortunately it has become, over the past couple of decades, a politically charged one as well.
British Dictionary definitions for unfortunately

unfortunately

/ʌnˈfɔːtʃənɪtlɪ/
adverb
1.
(sentence modifier) it is regrettable that; unluckily

unfortunate

/ʌnˈfɔːtʃənɪt/
adjective
1.
causing or attended by misfortune
2.
unlucky, unsuccessful, or unhappy an unfortunate character
3.
regrettable or unsuitable an unfortunate speech
noun
4.
an unlucky person
Derived Forms
unfortunateness, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for unfortunately
unfortunate
1520s, "unlucky," from un- (1) "not" + fortunate. 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.
unfortunately
1540s, from unfortunate. Originally "not successfully, to a regrettable extent." The proper meaning is now rare; the main modern sense of "sad to say," in parenthetical use, recorded from 1770s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for unfortunate

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for unfortunately

19
23
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with unfortunately