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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.
Origin of unlucky
1520-30; un-1 + lucky1
Related forms
unluckily, adverb
unluckiness, noun
hapless, unsuccessful, unfortunate, ill-omened. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unlucky
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One could not blame Kit for doing what he ought, but the thing was unlucky.

    Kit Musgrave's Luck Harold Bindloss
  • Say, chief, how many of these things were kicking around on this unlucky planet?

    Millennium Everett B. Cole
  • It exploded almost in our midst, and I was unlucky enough to get in the way of one of the shrapnel bullets.

    Through St. Dunstan's to Light James H. Rawlinson
  • This was unlucky; she must pass through that room to go out.

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • So she wrote an anonymous letter calculated to do harm to the unlucky subject thereof?

    Afterwards Kathlyn Rhodes
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

1520s, "marked by misfortune or failure," from un- (1) "not" + lucky. Cf. West Frisian unlokkich, Mliddle Low German unluckich. Sense of "boding ill" is recorded from 1540s; that of "having bad luck" is from 1550s; that of "bringing bad luck" is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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