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 unlucky (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 In his first at-bat, Walsh roped a 110.1 mph line drive into center field, unlucky that Robert was perfectly positioned for the White Sox to make the catch. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Angels observations: Justin Upton, Jared Walsh power win over White Sox," 4 Apr. 2021 And don't miss my weekly exit interviews with the unlucky souls who get booted! Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "The Challenge: All Stars premiere recap: Welcome (back) to The Challenge," 1 Apr. 2021 Both goals for San Jose went in off the unlucky MacDermid. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Lakers legend Elgin Baylor dies at 86," 23 Mar. 2021 Many pre-mergers were just faced with unlucky situations, which resulted in them getting eliminated without truly showcasing all of their abilities. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Vince Moua talks Asian and LGBTQIA+ representation on the show," 18 Mar. 2021 The microbes finish degrading down what’s left of the unlucky prey. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "This complex microbial warfare is taking place in a single drop of water," 25 Feb. 2021 He's worked as a mall cop and delivery driver, an unlucky zoo keeper and a retired police officer. Dan Gelston, Star Tribune, "Kevin James hits the gas in a racing comedy," 23 Feb. 2021 All successful Martian touchdowns—only about half the missions stuck their landing—belong to the U.S., though other countries made unlucky attempts. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "NASA’s rover Perseverance touched down on Mars. What’s next?," 20 Feb. 2021 While Washington Bakery received a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan, the restaurant got unlucky by being in the first round of recipients — back then, restaurants were told to use up the funds in just eight weeks. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "S.F. Chinatown ‘may be lost forever’: Leaders plead for more financial aid from city," 16 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for unlucky

Time Traveler

The first known use of unlucky was circa 1530

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Statistics for unlucky

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unlucky.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlucky. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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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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