un·​lucky | \ˌən-ˈlə-kē \

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 \ 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

Of course, this doesn’t mean that people who believe that 13 is unlucky are antifeminist, as the origins of this particular superstition are long-forgotten. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "Why Do People Think the Number 13 Is Unlucky? Let's Talk About Triskaidekaphobia," 29 Aug. 2018 Three years have also passed in the film, and the damage wrought in that movie is still being cleaned up — $800 million has been paid out to patrons unlucky enough to have been in attendance when things went haywire. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' gets off the island," 20 June 2018 Joe Jaggar booked flights to Kiev immediately after Liverpool's win over Roma but was unlucky in the club's ballot and didn't get any of just 16,000 available tickets for the game at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium on May 26. SI.com, "Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Shows Brilliant Act of Kindness to Get Disappointed Liverpool Fans to Kiev," 16 May 2018 Whatever the origin, the belief that 13 is an unlucky number is far reaching, and very old. Sarah Lyons, Teen Vogue, "How to Make Friday the 13th Good Luck Charms," 12 July 2018 Jameela, a Palestinian woman from Gaza, was the lucky one, and Muna, an Iraqi woman from Basra, was the unlucky one. Marie Claire, "Charities & Volunteering," 17 Feb. 2010 While not all the fish survived, the unlucky ones died because of problems like predation between species, not because of issues with pressure. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "New Gadget Brings Fish Up From the Ocean’s “Twilight Zone”," 11 June 2018 Some are just unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Afraid of bears? There are far more dangerous things in the Alaska outdoors," 4 June 2018 Lucky for you — and unlucky for your credit card — there are tons of beauty sales arriving this week in honor of Independence Day. Samantha Sasso, refinery29.com, "The 4th Of July Sales To Browse When It's Too Hot To Go Outside," 2 July 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

20 Nov 2018

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 \
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

What made you want to look up unlucky? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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