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[luhk] /lʌk/
the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person's life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities:
With my luck I'll probably get pneumonia.
good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance:
He had no luck finding work.
a combination of circumstances, events, etc., operating by chance to bring good or ill to a person:
She's had nothing but bad luck all year.
some object on which good fortune is supposed to depend:
This rabbit's foot is my luck.
Verb phrases, Informal.
luck into/onto, to meet, acquire, become, etc., by good luck:
She lucked into a great job.
luck out, to have an instance or run of exceptionally good luck:
He lucked out when he made a hole in one during the tournament.
luck upon, to come across by chance:
to luck upon a profitable investment.
down on one's luck, in unfortunate circumstances; unlucky:
She hated to see her old friend so down on her luck.
in luck, lucky; fortunate:
We were in luck, for the bakery was still open.
luck of the draw, the luck one has in or as if in drawing cards.
out of luck, unlucky; unfortunate:
When it comes to getting World Series tickets, we're usually out of luck.
push one's luck, Informal. to try to make too much of an opportunity; go too far.
Also, crowd one's luck.
Origin of luck
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English luk < Middle Dutch luc, aphetic form of gelucke; cognate with G. Glück


[lootsk; Polish wootsk] /lutsk; Polish wutsk/
Polish name of Lutsk. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for luck
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It would be a stroke of luck if I could stumble on one of his hiding places!

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • And he was both to batter it down, for he still had the gambler's faith in his luck.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • He knows you're with us, and he knows our luck left us when you come.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • How'll they know that it was luck—that my gun stuck in the holster—and that you jumped me on the draw?

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Such, at least, was my luck when starting for my annual French tour in 1887.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
British Dictionary definitions for luck


events that are beyond control and seem subject to chance; fortune
success or good fortune
something considered to bring good luck
down on one's luck, having little or no good luck to the point of suffering hardships
(informal) no such luck, unfortunately not
try one's luck, to attempt something that is uncertain
See also luck out
Word Origin
C15: from Middle Dutch luc; related to Middle High German gelücke, late Old Norse lukka, lykka
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 luck

late 15c. from early Middle Dutch luc, shortening of gheluc "happiness, good fortune," of unknown origin. It has cognates in Dutch geluk, Middle High German g(e)lücke, German Glück "fortune, good luck." Perhaps first borrowed in English as a gambling term. To be down on (one's) luck is from 1832; to be in luck is from 1900; to push (one's) luck is from 1911. Good luck as a salutation to one setting off to do something is from 1805. Expression better luck next time attested from 1802.

A gentleman was lately walking through St Giles's, where a levelling citizen attempting to pick his pocket of a handkerchief, which the gentleman caught in time, and secured, observing to the fellow, that he had missed his aim, the latter, with perfect sang-froid, answered, "better luck next time master."  ["Monthly Mirror," London, 1802]


by 1945, from luck (n.). To luck out "succeed through luck" is American English colloquial, attested by 1946; to luck into (something good) is from 1944. However, lukken was a verb in Middle English (mid-15c.) meaning "to happen, chance;" also, "happen fortunately."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for luck



A wish that one have good luck: ''Luck,'' I said. ''You too,'' Conway said (1980s+)

Related Terms

break luck, in luck, out of luck, pot luck, shit out of luck

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with luck
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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