Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “unfortunate”

unfortunate

adjective uk   /ʌnˈfɔː.tʃən.ət/ us    /-ˈfɔːr-/

unfortunate adjective (UNLUCKY)

B2 unlucky or having bad effects: She has inherited her father's large nose, which is very unfortunate. [+ (that)] It was just unfortunate (that) he phoned exactly as our guests were arriving.

unfortunate adjective (NOT SUITABLE)

formal (of remarks or behaviour) unsuitable in a way that could cause embarrassment or offence: The housing director's remark that 'the homeless could do more to help themselves' was unfortunate to say the least.

unfortunate

noun [C] uk   /ʌnˈfɔː.tʃən.ət/ us    /-ˈfɔːr-/ formal or humorous
an unlucky person who is in a bad situation: He was one of the poor unfortunates who invested in the company and now finds himself a few thousand pounds poorer.
(Definition of unfortunate from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of unfortunate?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Good luck and bad luck, but you might be interested in these topics from the Chance and possibility topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “unfortunate” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

initial

of or at the beginning

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More