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[uhn-luhk-ee] /ʌnˈlʌk i/
adjective, unluckier, unluckiest.
(of a person) not lucky; lacking good fortune; ill-fated.
(of an event or circumstance) inauspicious or characterized by misfortune; ominous.
1520-30; un-1 + lucky
Related forms
unluckily, adverb
unluckiness, noun
hapless, unsuccessful, unfortunate, ill-omened. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for unlucky
  • But they were unlucky enough to appear in their particular time and space.
  • And hundreds of unwary-or merely unlucky-explorers have lost their lives attempting to probe their secrets.
  • Owls have even been known to prey upon unlucky cats and dogs.
  • Prisoners unlucky enough to be caught were punished severely.
  • Some of the largest have pitchers up to a foot deep and can consume a whole frog or even a rat unlucky enough to fall into them.
  • One user even reported worse battery life with the update, but that unlucky individual seems to be an outlier.
  • Thoughtful people in general as well as unlucky patients have been distressed by some of the effects of specialization.
  • The faces of people dying from or struggling with aids have dwindled to an unlucky few.
  • He prayed and he prayed, but still he remained as unlucky as ever.
  • The world is a lottery wherein one must expect to meet with many unlucky chances.
British Dictionary definitions for unlucky


characterized by misfortune or failure an unlucky person, an unlucky chance
ill-omened; inauspicious an unlucky date
regrettable; disappointing
(Brit, dialect) causing trouble; mischievous
Derived Forms
unluckily, adverb
unluckiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unlucky
1530, "marked by misfortune or failure," from un- (1) "not" + lucky (see luck). Cf. W.Fris. unlokkich, M.L.G. unluckich. Sense of "boding ill" is recorded from 1547; that of "having bad luck" is from 1552; that of "bringing bad luck" is from 1586.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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