9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uhn-suh k-ses-fuh l] /ˌʌn səkˈsɛs fəl/
not achieving or not attended with success:
an unsuccessful person; an unsuccessful venture.
Origin of unsuccessful
1610-20; un-1 + successful
Related forms
unsuccessfully, adverb
unsuccessfulness, noun
hapless, unfortunate, foiled, baffled. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unsuccessful
  • The empty-handed males were mostly unsuccessful at mating.
  • More than unsuccessful models, there are unsuccessful mathematicians.
  • In any case even if true they only did it once so it obviously was unsuccessful.
  • Attempts at resuscitating him by his personal physician were unsuccessful.
  • However, this scheme has so far been unsuccessful as it has not been marketed well.
  • It does not mean that the earlier iteration was unsuccessful.
  • Sufficed to say the blunt tool of stimulant medication was unsuccessful.
  • Both structures are successful and unsuccessful strategies, and neither is more natural than the other.
  • Elimination of unsuccessful behaviours evolves the successful behaviours.
  • However, his attempts to clean up the area were largely unsuccessful and organized crime retained a strong presence.
British Dictionary definitions for unsuccessful


not having succeeded
Derived Forms
unsuccessfully, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for unsuccessful

1610s, from un- (1) "not" + successful. Related: Unsuccessfully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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