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un- +‎ happy


  • IPA(key): /ʌnˈhæpi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æpi


unhappy (comparative unhappier or more unhappy, superlative unhappiest or most unhappy)

  1. Not happy; sad.
  2. Not satisfied; unsatisfied.
    An unhappy customer is unlikely to return to your shop.
  3. (chiefly dated) Not lucky; unlucky.
    The doomed lovers must have been born under an unhappy star.
    • 1891, Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, volume 1, London: James R. Osgood, McIlvaine and Co., page 56:
      The pointed shaft of the cart had entered the breast of the unhappy Prince like a sword, and from the wound his life's blood was spouting in a stream, and falling with a hiss into the road.
  4. (chiefly dated) Not suitable; unsuitable.
    • 1563, John Foxe, Actes and Monuments
      The people, if they are not strangely bent
      Against our welfare, never will consent
      To this unhappy match, foreboding ill:
      What's it to us, if th' adverse nation will?





unhappy (plural unhappies)

  1. An individual who is not happy.
    • 1972, The New Yorker (volume 48, part 1, page 109)
      Leduc, as is true of many other unhappies, is largely a confessional writer: her subject is herself, and her gift is a driving, vivacious power that turns her incurable, inveterate unhappiness into a series of dramas []