Misfortune refers to an unfortunate or unlucky event or circumstance that brings distress, hardship, or adversity to a person or a group of people. It typically involves situations beyond one’s control and can encompass a range of difficulties such as financial setbacks, accidents, illness, or personal tragedies.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



adversity, setback, calamity, disaster, tragedy, hardship, mishap, setback, misadventure


Fortune, luck, success, prosperity, blessing

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun misfortune, misfortunes
Verb None
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • Despite her many talents and hard work, she seemed to be plagued by continuous misfortunes, from job losses to health issues.

  • The community rallied together to support each other after the devastating misfortune of a tornado that destroyed their homes.

  • He believed that misfortune could be turned into an opportunity for growth and resilience, as he had experienced firsthand in his own life.

  • The financial misfortune of a failed business venture led him to reevaluate his priorities and embark on a new career path.


The word “misfortune” has a long history and its usage can be traced back to Old French and Latin origins. The word is formed by combining the prefix “mis-” which means “bad” or “wrong,” and the noun “fortune” which refers to luck or chance. The prefix “mis-” in this case adds a negative or unfavorable connotation to the root word, modifying it to mean a bad or unfortunate occurrence.

“Misfortune” is primarily used as a noun to describe unfortunate events or circumstances that bring hardship, distress, or adversity. It is often used to refer to situations that are beyond one’s control and are seen as unlucky or unfortunate. It is commonly associated with personal tragedies, setbacks, financial difficulties, or other forms of hardship.

The word “misfortune” is frequently used in storytelling, literature, and everyday conversations to describe the unfortunate turns of events that befall characters or individuals. It portrays a sense of sympathy or empathy towards those who have encountered difficulties or hardships in their lives.

Additionally, “misfortune” can also be used metaphorically to describe any event or circumstance that is considered unlucky or unfavorable, even if it does not have a significant impact. For example, a minor accident or a missed opportunity may be described as a misfortune.

Overall, “misfortune” is a versatile word that effectively captures the idea of an unlucky occurrence or an adverse event. Its combination of the negative prefix “mis-” and the noun “fortune” provides a concise and powerful term to depict various forms of unfortunate circumstances that affect individuals or groups.