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unlucky, fortunate, lucky, blessed


Suffix -less, Obstacles and Hardships, Adversity and Obstacle, Middle School 15, Hardship and Suffering



How to pronounce hapless (audio)


Dictionary definition of hapless

Unfortunate, unlucky, or prone to experiencing misfortune and setbacks.
"The hapless victim was unable to defend themselves against the attacker."

Detailed meaning of hapless

When we characterize an individual as hapless, we emphasize their chronic lack of good luck or their tendency to be caught in difficult or unfavorable situations. Hapless individuals may frequently find themselves facing adversity or encountering obstacles, often through no fault of their own. This term conveys a sense of sympathy and understanding for those who seem to be consistently unlucky in their endeavors. Whether it's a hapless traveler whose flight is constantly delayed or a hapless job seeker who faces repeated rejections, this adjective underscores the idea of persistent misfortune or ill luck that can be both frustrating and challenging to overcome.

Example sentences containing hapless

1. The hapless sailor was adrift in the stormy sea, unsure of his fate.
2. A hapless puppy wandered the streets, in search of a warm place to rest.
3. The hapless victim of the prank looked around, completely embarrassed.
4. In the complicated chess match, the hapless king was cornered.
5. The hapless bird tried again and again to fly, despite its injured wing.
6. The hapless traveler got lost in the labyrinth of narrow, winding streets.

History and etymology of hapless

The word 'hapless' has its roots in Old English, where it originated from the combination of two elements: 'hap' and '-less.' 'Hap' referred to fortune, chance, or luck, while '-less' was a suffix denoting the absence or lack of something. Therefore, when 'hap' and '-less' were joined, 'hapless' emerged as a term describing individuals who were devoid of good luck or unfortunate in their circumstances. Its etymology embodies the idea of being without luck or fortune, emphasizing the propensity to encounter misfortune and setbacks, making it an apt descriptor for those facing a series of unfortunate events.

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Further usage examples of hapless

1. Amidst the confident students, the hapless freshman felt out of place.
2. The hapless character in the movie was always finding himself in trouble.
3. His hapless attempts to cook resulted in a kitchen filled with smoke.
4. The hapless city dwellers were unprepared for the sudden blackout.
5. Her hapless assistant seemed to always misplace important documents.
6. The hapless romantic couldn't help falling for the wrong person, time after time.
7. Despite being a hapless novice, he courageously entered the boxing ring.
8. The hapless pedestrian slipped on the icy sidewalk, dropping all his packages.
9. In the stock market, the hapless investor lost a considerable sum of money.
10. The hapless plants wilted under the scorching sun, due to lack of water.
11. Amidst the raging battle, the hapless messenger was sent with an important letter.
12. She was a hapless artist, whose work never received the recognition it deserved.
13. The hapless tourists were conned by the cunning local scam artists.
14. The hapless team lost their tenth consecutive game, diminishing their morale.

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