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: a force that brings good fortune or adversity
Luck was a big factor in the outcome.
: the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual
The loser muttered something about bad luck.
: favoring chance
also : success
had great luck growing orchids
luckless adjective


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lucked; lucking; lucks

intransitive verb

: to prosper or succeed especially through chance or good fortune
usually used with out
the hero lucks out and is able to escape
: to come upon something desirable by chance
usually used with out, on, onto, or into
lucked into a wonderful opportunity

Examples of luck in a Sentence

Noun We had good luck fishing. He's been having nothing but bad luck. He succeeded through hard work and a little luck. We need a bit of luck. By a stroke of luck, there were still a few tickets left when we arrived. “I've been looking for a new apartment.” “Any luck?” “No, not yet.” I've had no luck in finding a new apartment. He had no better luck than I did. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The game also adds an element of luck, which King said helps level the playing field for players of varying physical abilities. Shannon Sollitt, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Sep. 2023 Pickleball, the fastest-growing sport in America, requires quick reflexes and good hand-eye coordination, but securing a slot to play at the first-ever National Mall of Pickleball also required a lot of luck. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2023 The Bengals ranked seventh in run defense last year, holding opponents to 4.2 yards per carry, but had little luck stopping the Browns, who rolled up 206 yards on 40 carries in the opener. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 14 Sep. 2023 The city’s first casino opened Saturday, with gamblers set to try their luck seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. at the historic facility. Rebecca Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 11 Sep. 2023 Anyone hoping to stay the night, however, is out of luck: The rustic 10-site campground there has been removed due to lack of water, theft, vandalism and the general challenge of managing it, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said. oregonlive, 7 Sep. 2023 Picking up where Rivers has left off, Herbert has been available for every start — a feat of aptitude, toughness and, yes, luck, matched the past three years only by Bills star Josh Allen. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Sep. 2023 Jefferson County prosecutors Isabella Colombo and Julie McMakin contended the 43-year-old Lockett, a massage therapist operating under the business name Mr. Phalanges, preyed on women who were down on their luck and turned to prostitution to make ends meet. Carol Robinson |, al, 5 Sep. 2023 Early in the Venice press conference, Allen was asked to reflect on the role luck — or the absence of it — has played in his own life. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Sep. 2023
When the event kicked off, the Prince posted a personal message on social media wishing both teams luck. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 7 Aug. 2023 With the necessary waiver signed, Thomas handed me a black cowboy hat and wished me luck. José Sánchez Córdova, Dallas News, 22 July 2023 SeaWorld San Antonio will luck out with 2 minutes 7 seconds of totality. Matthew Cappucci,, 8 Apr. 2023 Ordinarily, arancieri must register with a team weeks in advance and pay the roughly 120-euro fee, but someone from the Historic Carnival of Ivrea Foundation, which organizes the event, had simply gifted me an emasculatingly oversize Tuchini jersey and wished me luck. Jon Mooallem Andrea Frazzetta, New York Times, 17 Mar. 2023 Camping might not sound as appealing during the rainy months, but those who luck out with clear weather — or those who don’t mind the rain — can find plenty of space at the many Olympic National Park campgrounds that remain open year-round, including the Hoh, Mora and Ozette campgrounds. oregonlive, 2 Oct. 2021 The Cowboys may luck out here -- Mostert missed practice Wednesday with an ankle injury and his status for Sunday is up in the air. John Owning, Dallas News, 18 Dec. 2020 But is luck a crucial factor in making someone successful? Liana Zavo, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2023 Nobody could possibly expect to luck onto an alien broadcast that easily, unless there happened to be technologically advanced civilizations lurking around just about every star. Michael Lemonick, Discover Magazine, 2 Jan. 2011 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'luck.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle English lucke, from Middle Dutch luc; akin to Middle High German gelücke luck

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of luck was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near luck

Cite this Entry

“Luck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: whatever happens to a person apparently by chance
have good luck fishing
: the accidental way events occur
happening by pure luck
: good fortune : success
have luck
be out of luck

More from Merriam-Webster on luck

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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