What word best describes the opposite of "achievement"?

It can have more than one interpretation:

  • met achievement that is not desirable
  • unmet desirable achievement

I'm interested in all you throw at me.

Thanks. (I'm not native speaker.)

(And misachievement doesn't really exist.)

  • 2
    You can use an online thesaurus to look for antonyms.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 14:31
  • Some more context would be useful. This sounds like it could relate to a staff appraisal form??
    – user46687
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 14:57
  • 1
    Any votes for "non-achievement"? Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 16:57
  • Mitch: Antonyms sections is really great! Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 17:23

4 Answers 4


Unaccomplished [ˌʌnəˈkɒmplɪʃt]: not completed or done; unfinished.

Unfulfilled [ˌʌnfʊlˈfɪld]: not completed or achieved; unfulfilled ambitions

Unrealized [ʌnˈrɪəˌlaɪzd] : not made real or actual; not resulting in accomplishment, as a task or aim: unrealized ambitions.

Debacle [dē-ˈbä-kəl]

  • a : a great disaster
  • b : a complete failure : fiasco

"After the debacle of his first novel, he had trouble getting a publisher for his next book."


Failure: An achievement is something that you have achieved. A failure is when you attempt something but are not successful.


Demerit? When you do something and are awarded "negative" achievement. Kind of like the opposite of a gold star earned in a classroom.

  • This works best in my case. Thanks :)
    – MartinJH
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 17:21

For "Unmet desirable achievement," I agree with @HellisHeat on failure. An emerging internet usage is an epic fail.

For a "met achievement that is not desirable," perhaps one of these phrases might help:

  • Golden Fleece Award, given by Senator William Proxmire, given for wasteful government spending.
  • Golden Raspberry Award, or a razzie, given for bad films.
  • dubious distinction, as in "He had the dubious distinction of the highest Flesch–Kincaid grade level for any user manual."

There may be another dimension of "met goal that was accidentally achieved." A noun to describe this would be serendipity.

  • Thank you for including the stuff about "met achievement that is not desirable"! I have been looking for this information for days now. Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 17:10

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