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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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