from The Century Dictionary.

  • In an unhappy manner; unfortunately; miserably; evilly: as, to live unhappily.
  • By ill fortune; as ill luck would have it; to some one's misfortune: as, unhappily I missed seeing him.
  • Not suitably or appropriately; not aptly.
  • Trickishly; mischievously.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adverb In an unhappy manner.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb in an unpleasant way
  • adverb in an unfortunate way


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

unhappy +‎ -ly


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  • In that same way, a true and meaningful connection felt between two people, even if it ends unhappily, is a miracle.

    A Conversation with Meg Mullins

  • "Don't you recognize me?" he called unhappily as he was pulled away.

    Reiffeins Choice

  • Down to Santiago, where a telegram waited him from the Emperor of Brazil announcing his election to the Acadèmie des Sciences de l'Institut de France, a great honor about which Agassiz remarks: The distinction unhappily is usually a brevet of infirmity, or at least of old age, and in my case it is to a falling house that the diploma is addressed.

    Runner of the Mountain Tops: The Life of Louis Agassiz

  • For how canyon prevent from coming to the city, a youth, full of fire and curiosity, and in search of gayety, which he does not know, to be artificial only, and which he thinks he sees floating above every city, and which, unhappily is not to be found in the country!

    Quebec of Yesterday and Quebec of Tomorrow

  • He declined it on the score of being full, and that by Christmas the subject would be 'passé,' which it cannot be, for the subject, unhappily, is going on, and the problem won't be solved, this long while, at least, of 'Modern Scepticism and Modern Belief.'

    Selections from the Letters of Geraldine Endsor Jewsbury to Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • Philpot's cornet, and awaited their "unsuspecting victim," as the phrase unhappily, and with too much truth, goes.

    The Tithe-Proctor The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two

  • The quality of his successor’s concerns us here and now – and unhappily is becoming all too evident.

    Does This Administration Have a “Reset” Button?

  • The quality of his successor’s concerns us here and now – and unhappily is becoming all too evident.

    Stromata Blog:

  • And one would expect, therefore, that a progressive and systematically thoughtful government would move heaven and earth to rescue the nation from the carnage which AIDS is taking, and unhappily, that is not the case, although in every other country in southern Africa I have visited, they are moving heaven and earth to turn things around.

    CNN Transcript Sep 9, 2006

  • At the square end of the horse-shoe, so to speak, stretched the imposing canvas screen, painted in a most elaborate style, by the hand of some artist whose name unhappily has not been preserved for the benefit of posterity.

    Wilton School or, Harry Campbell's Revenge


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  • In this distress he received a remittance of five pounds from London, with which he provided himself a decent coat, and determined to go to London, but unhappily spent his money at a favourite tavern.

    —Johnson's life of Savage

    A nice, clear contrast between a sentence adverb and a—well, what do we call the other possibility? A verb adverb? Anyway, Johnson is applying the speaker-oriented adverb 'unhappily' to the whole clause 'but spent his money at a favourite tavern'. The topic, Mr Richard Savage, however, probably happily spent his money there. Though it is of course quite possible that because of his poverty, hunger, and want of friends he unhappily spent his money there, given Johnson's delineation of Savage's character this seems unlikely.

    Afterthought. Either Johnson has made an error, or this is a rare construction for 'provide': he might have confused the 'with' of 'with five pounds' with that of 'provide someone with something'. Outside a relative clause, what Johnson has written would be ?'He provided himself a decent coat (with the five pounds)'; this ditransitive use of 'provide' is OED sense 6, which has the note 'Also occas. with indirect object without to.'

    December 12, 2008