Definition of unfortunate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌənˈfôrCH(ə)nət/


1Having or marked by bad fortune; unlucky: the unfortunate Cunningham was fired
More example sentences
  • There are psychos around, like there are anywhere and this poor person was unfortunate enough to be standing in front of a psycho who pushed him under a tube
  • The work is spread fairly and in the public interest amongst a wide range of operators to the best requirements of those who are unfortunate enough to be in an accident.
  • Like many others, he was unfortunate enough to lose a limb in a shooting accident but is bravely continuing with his chosen career of caring for his beloved hunting hounds.
unlucky, hapless, jinxed, out of luck, luckless, wretched, miserable, forlorn, poor, pitiful
1.1(Of a circumstance) unfavorable or inauspicious: the delay at the airport was an unfortunate start to our vacation
More example sentences
  • Lindsay had the unfortunate chance of meeting Izzy last year when she dropped off her Christmas present and Izzy had answered the door.
  • The long chain of unfortunate events indicate that Taiwanese businesspeople can easily become targets of bandits in China.
  • For the second successive weekend an unfortunate clash of fixtures will leave some of the York area's hardcore of match anglers with divided loyalties.
1.2Regrettable or inappropriate: his unfortunate remark silenced the gathering
More example sentences
  • ‘It is important to say the Navy regrets this unfortunate incident,’ said a spokesman for the Pacific Fleet.
  • Firstly, I regret that this unfortunate incident occurred and reiterate our apology to Mrs Hill's family.
  • ‘It's certainly an unfortunate incident that we regret,’ a White House spokesman told a news briefing.
regrettable, inappropriate, unsuitable, infelicitous, unbecoming, inopportune, tactless, injudicious


(often unfortunates)
1A person who suffers bad fortune.
Example sentences
  • Allow me to explain Fayer's evil plan to you poor unfortunates who have to suffer through his company with me.
  • Let us hope that it has the effect of penalising the habitually and criminally dangerous drivers and not unfortunates who are victims of circumstances.
  • Well, apart from the torture victims, the murdered and other unfortunates who have had their civil liberties eroded, human rights curtailed and so on.
1.1 archaic A person who is considered immoral or lacking in religious faith or instruction, especially a prostitute.

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Syllabification: un·for·tu·nate

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