Something that's unavailing doesn't achieve the desired results. After an unavailing search for a pair of matching socks, you were forced to wear a blue and green striped sock on one foot and a pink polka-dotted sock on the other.

When your efforts are ineffective, they're unavailing. A teacher's unavailing attempt to keep your class quiet means that the noise continues, and an underdog basketball team's unavailing struggle to make up the ten-point lag at halftime means they ultimately lose the game. This adjective comes from the now-obsolete availing, "advantageous," combined with the prefix un-, "not."

Definitions of unavailing
  1. adjective
    producing no result or effect
    “an unavailing attempt”
    synonyms: futile, ineffectual, otiose
    having no beneficial use or incapable of functioning usefully
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