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 Kendrick starred in the first instalment as Darby, an artsy NYC transplant who was unlucky in both her love life and her work life. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "The Good Place Fans Are Getting A Peek Into William Jackson Harper’s Love Life," 6 Nov. 2020 In 1866, the fledgling city of San Francisco decided to build a four-story poorhouse for unlucky gold rushers. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, "What the San Francisco Bay Area Can Teach Us About Fighting a Pandemic," 4 Jan. 2021 Their ordeal was the product of unlucky twists and unfortunate timing, but one that also underscores the consequences possible for short-term visitors stuck in the U.S. during the pandemic. Andrea Castillo, Los Angeles Times, "COVID stopped her parents from returning to China. Now her mom has cancer," 19 Dec. 2020 But for an unlucky minority, the loss can drag on, either by itself or with other symptoms in long haulers. Tara Santora, Popular Science, "Can’t smell or taste the bacon? It’s probably a sign of COVID-19.," 11 Dec. 2020 Never mind that what sets the action in motion is a woman being struck and killed by an empty school bus, the kind of unlucky moment that does tend to make one think. WSJ, "Leaders in Literature, Politics and Arts Share Their Favorite Books of 2020," 11 Dec. 2020 From actively contributing to signifiant loss of human life, to packing enough venom to put unlucky travelers out of commission, here are the 13 most dangerous animals in the world—and where to find them. Daniel Jameson, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Dangerous Animals in the World," 25 Nov. 2020 Since then, the company has changed the unlucky connotation of Friday the 13th and turned it into a joyous occasion, dubbing it RyeDay the 13th instead. Jessica Poitevien, Travel + Leisure, "One Lucky Whiskey Lover Can Win a VIP Stay on Baltimore’s Waterfront Plus $10,000 Cash," 19 Nov. 2020 Imagine being so generally unlucky that casino owners use your very presence to try and cool down hot players. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 100 Best Movies on Hulu Right Now," 9 Jan. 2021

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

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unlucky.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlucky. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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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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Comments on unlucky

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