Definition of unfortunate adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ʌnˈfɔːtʃənət//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʌnˈfɔːrtʃənət//
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  1. 1  having bad luck; caused by bad luck synonym unlucky He was unfortunate to lose in the final round. It was an unfortunate accident. The unfortunate animal was locked inside the house for a week. opposite fortunate
  2. 2  (formal) if you say that a situation is unfortunate, you wish that it had not happened or that it had been different synonym regrettable She described the decision as ‘unfortunate’. It was unfortunate that he couldn't speak English. You're putting me in a most unfortunate position. Language BankimpersonalGiving opinions using impersonal language It is vital that more is done to prevent the illegal trade in wild animals. (Compare: We have to do more to stop people trading wild animals illegally.) It is clear that more needs to be done to protect biodiversity. (Compare: We clearly need to do more to protect biodiversity.) It is unfortunate that the practice of keeping monkeys as pets still continues. (Compare: It’s absolutely terrible that people still keep monkeys as pets.) It is difficult for many people to understand the reasons why certain individuals choose to hunt animals for sport. (Compare: I can’t understand why anyone would want to kill animals for fun.) Unfortunately, it would seem that not enough is being done to support tiger conservation. (Compare: Governments aren’t doing enough to help tiger conservation.) There is no doubt that the greatest threat to polar bears comes from global warming. (Compare: I believe that the greatest threat…)
  3. 3embarrassing and/or offensive It was an unfortunate choice of words.
  4. Extra examples This comment was doubly unfortunate for Bob as he lost friends and further antagonized enemies. It was unfortunate that he couldn’t speak English. You’re putting me in a most unfortunate position.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: unfortunate

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