English

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Etymology

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unfortunate +‎ -ly

Pronunciation

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Adverb

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unfortunately (comparative more unfortunately, superlative most unfortunately)

  1. Happening through bad luck, or because of some unfortunate event.
    The houses which burned down could have been saved. Unfortunately, the fire truck had broken down on the way.
  2. Used (as a parenthetical word) to express disappointment, compassion, sorrow, regret, or grief.
    • 1943 November – 1944 February (date written; published 1945 August 17), George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], Animal Farm [], London: Secker & Warburg, published May 1962, →OCLC:
      Unfortunately, the uproar awoke Mr. Jones, who sprang out of bed, making sure that there was a fox in the yard.
    • 1951 October, “Notes and News: The Harmonium at Troutbeck”, in Railway Magazine, page 709:
      Unfortunately, even in the palmiest days of the old Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway Company, passengers were few and far between at Troutbeck, and since the advent of the motor bus road services they are rarer than ever, and never likely to increase.

Synonyms

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Antonyms

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