misfortune

misfortune, mischance, adversity, mishap are comparable when they denote bad luck or adverse fortune or an instance of this.
Misfortune is both the most common and the most general term; it is applicable equally to the incident or conjunction of events that is the cause of an unhappy change of fortune
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by misfortune he lost his job

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or the ensuing state of distress
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a crass and stupid person who had fallen through luck into flowing prosperity. His every good fortune spattered others with misfortuneMalamud

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and it may denote a particular unfortunate incident
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they could by cooperation brave misfortunes and supplement each other's efforts in bettering the lot of the common man— Middle East Jour.

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Mischance rarely applies to a state of distress but is otherwise very close to misfortune from which it differs chiefly in greater objectivity. While sometimes used to imply grave affliction or even death it is especially appropriate when the situation involves no more than slight inconvenience or minor annoyance
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I threw a stone and hit a duck in the yard by mischanceYeats

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they proceeded on their journey without any mischanceAusten

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Adversity, on the other hand, denotes the state or the instance but not the cause; it is distinctly the strongest of these words and in its typical use implies a state of grave and persistent misfortune
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a wretched soul, bruised with adversity—Shak.

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what fairy palaces we may build of beautiful thought—proof against all adversityRuskin

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In application to the instance adversity is normally used in the plural
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the many misfortunes and adversities Bolivia has suffered have brought this national spirit to a high pitch— Americas

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Mishap, (see also ACCIDENT)like mischance, commonly implies triviality
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directed the concert without any of the mishaps expected of a twenty-year-old's performance— Current Biog.

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Analogous words: *disaster, calamity, catastrophe, cataclysm: *accident, casualty: *trial, tribulation, cross, affliction, visitation
Antonyms: happiness: prosperity
Contrasted words: felicity, bliss, blessedness, beatitude (see HAPPINESS): comfort, ease (see REST): *victory, triumph

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Misfortune — is an Italian fairy tale, from Palermo, collected by Italo Calvino in his Italian Folktales.[1] Another telling of the tale appears under the title Unfortunate in A Book of Enchantments and Curses, by Ruth Manning Sanders. Synopsis A king was… …   Wikipedia

  • misfortune — I noun accident, adverse event, adverse fortune, adverse lot, adverse luck, adversity, affliction, backset, bad fortune, bad luck, bale, blow, calamitas, calamity, casualty, cataclysm, catastrophe, comedown, destruction, disadvantage,… …   Law dictionary

  • Misfortune — Mis*for tune, n. Bad fortune or luck; calamity; an evil accident; disaster; mishap; mischance. [1913 Webster] Consider why the change was wrought, You ll find his misfortune, not his fault. Addison. [1913 Webster] Syn: Calamity; mishap;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • misfortune — / mishap [n] bad luck; disaster accident, adversity, affliction, annoyance, anxiety, bad break*, bad news*, blow*, burden, calamity, casuality, cataclysm, catastrophe, contretemps, cross, crunch, debacle, disadvantage, disappointment, discomfort …   New thesaurus

  • Misfortune — Mis*for tune, v. i. To happen unluckily or unfortunately; to miscarry; to fail. [Obs.] Stow. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • misfortune — (n.) mid 15c., from MIS (Cf. mis ) (1) + FORTUNE (Cf. fortune). Related: Misfortunate …   Etymology dictionary

  • misfortune — ► NOUN 1) bad luck. 2) an unfortunate event …   English terms dictionary

  • misfortune — [mis fôr′chən] n. 1. bad luck; ill fortune; trouble; adversity 2. an instance of this; unlucky accident; mishap; mischance SYN. AFFLICTION …   English World dictionary

  • misfortune — noun Date: 15th century 1. a. an event or conjunction of events that causes an unfortunate or distressing result ; bad luck < by misfortune he fell into bad company > < had the misfortune to break his leg > b. an unhappy situation < always ready… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • misfortune — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ great ▪ personal VERB + MISFORTUNE ▪ be dogged by (BrE), have, suffer ▪ The expedition was dogged by …   Collocations dictionary

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