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

  • adj. Having an unfavorable outcome: an unsuccessful venture.
  • adj. Failing to attain something desired or intended: an unsuccessful entrepreneur.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Failed, not successful.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not successful; not producing the desired event; not fortunate; meeting with, or resulting in, failure; unlucky; unhappy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not successful; not producing the desired event; not fortunate.

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

  • adj. failing to accomplish an intended result
  • adj. not successful; having failed or having an unfavorable outcome


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The fraudulent conviction of the late Senator Ted Stevens was referred to as "unsuccessful," which it was, after he lost reelection by a hair's breadth.

    Conrad Black: Time's Fatuous and Egregious Coverage of Wall Street Prosecutor

  • During the course of the investigation, Blecker forged three additional letters in unsuccessful attempts to have the new RTP cancelled and withdrawn.


  • Blecker forged three additional letters in unsuccessful attempts to have the new RTP cancelled and withdrawn.


  • From the 4th fogs said adverse winds prevented a further attempt until the 7th, which was then made nearer the end of the cable, and was unsuccessful from the same cause when the cable had been lifted about 1000 yards.

    The Atlantic Telegraph

  • I shall make another attempt this evening & least I may be again unsuccessful take a note in my pocket requesting him to leave the money for me tomorrow morning in case he should again be out.

    Letter 225

  • And his Finals performance, though unsuccessful from a team standpoint, should be legendary, and I don’t know why he doesn’t get that credit.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Chemistry Experiment

  • At one point, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S. C.) introduced a line of questioning about Miranda rights and military commissions by recalling the unsuccessful bombing attempt on an airplane last Christmas.

    Kagan vows to be politically independent, refuses to criticize Supreme Court

  • If he is successful, that will only confirm the general belief in his rashness; and if in the short run he is unsuccessful, which is very likely, he will not receive much mercy.

    The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money

  • His father was a lawyer, unsuccessful, which is very rare; poor, which is even more difficult because in Florence, lawyers then and even today are normally very wealthy.

    Niccolo's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli

  • "There was no accusation or evidence of jury misconduct, and fairness and due process principles do not entitle unsuccessful plaintiffs 'attorneys to a' do over. '

    National Business News - Local Business News | bizjournals


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.