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hard luck

Misfortune, adversity, as in He's had a lot of hard luck in his day. This expression is also used in the phrase hard-luck story, a tale of one's misfortune that is related in order to get sympathy (or a donation). For example, We can't ignore her hard-luck story, even if you doubt that it's true. [ Second half of 1500s ]
Also see: tough break
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • Angus demanded irritably, for his hard luck was getting on his nerves.

    The Land of Strong Men Arthur M. Chisholm
  • Even in hard luck he patronized the temple, and believed while there was money it could be had.

  • We don't know what's ahead and we'd be in hard luck bottled up here all day tomorrow with nothing to drink.

    Daughter of the Sun Jackson Gregory
  • "They were so handy in case of hard luck," she said, and smiled.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • I swore that I wouldn't gamble any more, as I am in hard luck this month.

  • It would be hard luck if a woman like you had to ask twice for anything.

    Hidden Water Dane Coolidge
  • It was hard luck certainly, as there was only one narrow prison moat between us and freedom.

  • If Flynn paid money for the yacht, he is the one in hard luck.

    Frank Merriwell's Cruise Burt L. Standish
  • hard luck indeed for the sailor who does not know how to fight, or who shows a yellow streak!

    The Flying Bo'sun Arthur Mason

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