I need an adjective to qualify something bad that one gets but one did not deserve. It's used as following

"One single action of hers had freed her from the chains of [adjective] ignominy"

I can think of misplaced, ill begotten, unearned, but none quite fit the bill here

  • 1
    where will your adjective be placed in the sentence? instead of "single"?
    – Vladtn
    Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 17:55
  • sorry. I wrote it there in angular brackets, but turns out the HTML ate it up. See my edit now
    – SoWhat
    Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 18:00

2 Answers 2


It's difficult to combine the two concepts in one, undue would be a candidate as meaning unwarranted or inappropriate because excessive or disproportionate. The disproportionate part (most often) implies something bad, although you could imagine talking of undue happiness, but only for someone who is so bad he doesn't deserve it, so still some negativity there.

Otherwise you would have to combine two adjectives such as needless, undeserved, etc

  • 1
    I think unwarranted is good.
    – SoWhat
    Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 18:08

Undeserved is the obvious choice to me.

Unjust or unfair place the situation more starkly as a matter of justice or fairness. As noted in another reply, undue or unwarranted captures better the sense of a disproportion, i.e. she deserved some ignominy but not this much. Needless or unnecessary can also express excess, but also that the ignominy is unfortunate because it was avoidable. Groundless ignominy establishes her complete innocence.

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