Meaning of “unfortunate” in the English Dictionary

"unfortunate" in British English

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unfortunateadjective

uk /ʌnˈfɔː.tʃən.ət/ us /ʌnˈfɔːr.tʃən.ət/

unfortunate adjective (UNLUCKY)

B2 unlucky or having bad effects:

She has inherited her father's large nose, which is very unfortunate.
[ + (that) ] It was unfortunate (that) he called at the exact moment when our guests were arriving.

More examples

  • There's nothing anybody can do about it, it's just unfortunate that this had to happen now.
  • It was a very unfortunate accident/incident.
  • It's unfortunate that his parents can't be there to see him perform.
  • She has a very unfortunate resemblance to her rather unattractive mother.
  • It's unfortunate that he seems to have inherited his father's poor vision.

unfortunatenoun [ C ]

uk /ʌnˈfɔː.tʃən.ət/ us /ʌnˈfɔːr.tʃən.ət/ formal or humorous

(Definition of “unfortunate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"unfortunate" in American English

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unfortunateadjective

us /ʌnˈfɔr·tʃə·nət/

unfortunate adjective (UNLUCKY)

unlucky or having bad effects:

What happened to Monica was just a freak accident – it was very unfortunate.

unfortunate adjective (UNSUITABLE)

(of remarks or behavior) unsuitable in a way that could cause offense:

It was an unfortunate remark that he later regretted.
unfortunately
adverb us /ʌnˈfɔr·tʃə·nət·li/

Unfortunately, by the time we got there the party was almost over.

(Definition of “unfortunate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)