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

Nine months of unwanted pain and possibly death is not an acceptable punishment for being unlucky while engaging in an almost universally practiced past time. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why A Pro-Life World Has A Lot of Dead Women In It," 19 June 2017 Town were actually unlucky not to get anything from the game and were arguably the better side on the day, but Wagner chose to focus on the bigger picture after the final whistle. SI.com, "David Wagner Commends Huddersfield's Staff Following Successful First Premier League Season," 14 May 2018 In this story, the unlucky adult was also the most famous adult, movie star Natalie Wood, who was 43 at the time. Nancy Bilyeau, Town & Country, "What Really Happened to Natalie Wood?," 29 Nov. 2018 Philly animal shelter chief is gone Friday the 13th was unlucky for Vincent Medley, the controversial executive director of ACCT Philly, the city animal shelter. Stu Bykofsky, Philly.com, "Abal the K-9 able to return home. Don't sweat the why and how | Stu Bykofsky," 14 Apr. 2018 As other strains start running amok, Wells said unlucky patients who have already been hit by the flu may catch another wave. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "It's possible to get the flu twice in a season," 13 Feb. 2018 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

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

16 Jan 2019

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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

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