from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Luckless; unfortunate. See Synonyms at unfortunate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Very unlucky; ill-fated.
  • adj. devoid of talent or skill

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Without hap or luck; luckless; unfortunate; unlucky; unhappy

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Without hap or luck; luckless; unfortunate; unlucky; unhappy.
  • Synonyms Ill-starred, ill-fated, forlorn.

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

  • adj. deserving or inciting pity


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

hap +‎ -less


  • Back before they were Super Bowl champs, some called the hapless team the "Aints" and in shame would pull paper bags over their heads. - Local News 8 - Headlines

  • Chapter 62 consists of a single word, "hapless" - the only word Orion's abridger cut from the chapter, trimming a 105-word sentence to 104; the book's first sentence is "methodically"; the final hunt for the white whale dissolves into pure punctuation.

    Brit Lit Blogs

  • Like her and many others of our generation, I knew all the old gang pretty well but have met only a handful of today's lot, Maginnes, the Attwoods, Hanna, Dallat, Ritchie, McGrady, McDonnell and yes the "hapless" - (unkind and overstated) - Durkan.

    Slugger O'Toole

  • The highlight of her reign of terror: The now-infamous "Saving Private Ryan" interpretive dance, part of a longer sequence, assembled to celebrate nominated film scores, which The Post's reviewer described as a "hapless, protracted gaffe."

    Lists: The Academy Awards' worst-ever musical numbers

  • Should we call the hapless storyteller an anecdope?

    Word Fugitives

  • The government – that is, the hapless FDIC – puts up 85 per cent of $5 million to buy this – namely, $4,250,000.

    The Free Market, Financial Style: How the Scam Works

  • They also miss that it isn't "just like" their partisan foes calling the hapless Dubya "Chimpy McHitlerBurton".

    Today's blogging has a theme... I see.

  • From ‘cowboy up’ to ‘lawyer up,’ Bush is a man for whom the word hapless is effusive praise.

    Think Progress » Bush advised to ‘lawyer up.’

  • Hats off to the keeper I may or may not have described as "hapless" at some time in print during the last few weeks. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • Still, at least uni-boy (otherwise known as my hapless brother) made me look better by sending a measly Mother's Day text.

    Evening Mail news round-up


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  • Olymic is a mockery of hapless players.

    August 4, 2012