un·​lucky | \ ˌən-ˈlə-kē How to pronounce unlucky (audio) \

Definition of unlucky

1 : marked by adversity or failure an unlucky year
2 : likely to bring misfortune : inauspicious an unlucky number
3 : having or meeting with misfortune unlucky people
4 : producing dissatisfaction : regrettable

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Other Words from unlucky

unluckiness \ ˌən-​ˈlə-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce unluckiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of unlucky in a Sentence

She was unlucky enough to get a flat tire on the way to her job interview. Some people think that 13 is an unlucky number. He thinks it's unlucky to have a black cat cross your path.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Zhang was unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Miller told jurors, saying Christensen had determined on June 9 to kill someone that day and had been cruising in his car looking for a victim. CBS News, "Doctoral student's defense lawyers in trial of Chinese scholar's brutal death: He did it," 13 June 2019 Whatever the cause, these unlucky creatures don't live long. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "The Life and Viral Fame of Virginia's Two-Headed Snake," 13 June 2019 After her unlucky break in the NCAA women’s 4x400, USC’s Anna Cockrell has a promise for next year. oregonlive.com, "Even flying under the radar, the Portland Track Festival puts on a good show: Oregon track & field rundown," 10 June 2019 For even the best hockey teams, just one unlucky bounce or one improbably good play by their opponent can result in a loss. New York Times, "Why N.H.L. Teams May Not Enjoy the Comforts of Home Ice," 6 June 2018 That’s making an unlucky start to the year for the gambling hub not so bad after all. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Following the Tourist Trail to Macau Looks Like the Best Bet," 1 Mar. 2019 For those unlucky enough to live outside the radius of a major city, Bond has a new project with JW Anderson, advertising the label’s new Keyts bag. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Justin Vivian Bond Would Like to Sell You a Bag," 20 Mar. 2019 Sunday’s result: Queen Shelly Ann was very unlucky, hitting the side of the gate, then swerving in with her jockey losing the left iron until near the 5/8ths mark. John Cherwa, latimes.com, "Racing! Happy Fourth of July," 4 July 2018 Jill stood nearby in a green dress, a color that Baffert claims is unlucky and Jill insisted her husband gave her permission to wear. Tim Layden, SI.com, "Justify Elicits Comparisons to American Pharoah in First Step of Following Same Historic Path," 5 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unlucky.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of unlucky

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for unlucky

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unlucky

The first known use of unlucky was circa 1530

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More Definitions for unlucky



English Language Learners Definition of unlucky

: having bad luck
: causing bad luck
: resulting from bad luck


un·​lucky | \ ˌən-ˈlə-kē How to pronounce unlucky (audio) \
unluckier; unluckiest

Kids Definition of unlucky

1 : not fortunate : having bad luck He's been unlucky in love.
2 : marked by bad luck or failure an unlucky day
3 : likely to bring misfortune Are black cats really unlucky?
4 : causing distress or regret … she couldn't ignore the throbbing soreness in her thumb where the thorn had left its unlucky mark.— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising

Other Words from unlucky

unluckily \ -​ˈlək-​ə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on unlucky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unlucky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unlucky

Spanish Central: Translation of unlucky

Nglish: Translation of unlucky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unlucky for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unlucky

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showing courage and determination

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