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 Ross was unlucky enough to be counted among that group. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, "He was embarrassed by his breast cancer diagnosis. Now, he wants others to know men are at risk, too.," 28 Dec. 2019 There's no easy answer: A handful of substances in wine, particularly red wine, can wreck havoc on the unlucky people whose bodies can't handle them. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, "Why does red wine make me feel sick?," 27 Dec. 2019 For these unlucky people, even trace amounts of peanut can trigger a fatal allergic reaction. Dwan Price, Quartz, "Why peanuts are so much worse than other allergies," 18 Dec. 2019 Because panic attacks and anxiety attacks overlap in a few ways, and some unlucky people experience both. Stephanie Dolgoff, Good Housekeeping, "Is It an Anxiety Attack or a Panic Attack? Here’s How to Know, According to Experts," 14 June 2019 Residents of San Francisco’s lowest-lying areas are routinely the most unlucky when heavy storms hit. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "‘That’s not dirt’: SF residents endure flooded homes as sewer pipes back up in storms," 9 Dec. 2019 At least the unlucky people in the following stories did. Mandy Major, Woman's Day, "10 Strange Objects Found in Food," 3 Nov. 2010 But by the time the unlucky Ngandong individuals died and were washed downstream in a flood, the world around them was changing. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The last days of Homo erectus," 18 Dec. 2019 Admiral Kuznetsov, launched in the mid-1980s, is an unlucky ship. NBC News, "Major fire breaks out on unlucky Russian aircraft carrier," 12 Dec. 2019

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

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unlucky.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlucky. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for unlucky


How to pronounce unlucky (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unlucky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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