Definition of hapless in English:



  • (especially of a person) unfortunate.

    ‘the hapless victims of the disaster’
    • ‘Remember what Antoine de Boursin did to the hapless employees at Bunsen Burners International?’
    • ‘Then when we got there a swarm of locust like marketeers engulfed our hapless family.’
    • ‘She refuses, saying she needs to stay with her rather hapless boyfriend.’
    • ‘Such marriages do not last longer than a year and then the hapless girls return with a child.’
    • ‘He would then regale his hapless customers with stories of his own daring deeds.’
    • ‘It's unfair to blame the hapless candidate, of course, for her party's shortcomings.’
    • ‘To be fair to the hapless reporter, I think he was rather embarrassed about this assignment.’
    • ‘Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman star as two hapless criminals who embark on a land rush on the western frontier.’
    • ‘A few will have headliner status thrust upon them, as has happened with the hapless Aaron Barschak.’
    • ‘The hapless Sailor briefly stopped the onslaught when he scored three minutes later, but to no avail.’
    • ‘Jeffrey is pretty hapless, and a very funny spoof of an irritating circuit queen.’
    • ‘It is not merely hapless tourists that are suffering in this unstable climate.’
    • ‘After all, failure to do so could leave them as hapless bystanders in a game of musical chairs which may be nearing its climax.’
    • ‘This is the kind of inspired initiative that might have saved hapless Henry but what flag would he have proposed we wave?’
    • ‘What about his grotesque decision to psychoanalyse his own daughter, the hapless Anna?’
    • ‘The hapless travellers have to part with at least two to three rupees more for want of change.’
    • ‘How much compensation was offered to the poor hapless farmers is not a state secret.’
    • ‘Some went as far as singing besura love songs outside the hapless girl's house.’
    • ‘For the professor, taking care of these hapless children has remained a life long passion.’
    • ‘Speer is no hapless victim caught in sadistic forces beyond his control.’
    unfortunate, unlucky, luckless, out of luck, ill-starred, ill-fated, jinxed, cursed, doomed
    unhappy, forlorn, wretched, miserable, woebegone
    down on one's luck
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Late Middle English: from hap (in the early sense ‘good fortune’) + -less.