Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for luck out
Historical Examples
  • Here's Mr Gordon did have a stroke of luck out there;—quite wonderful!

    An Old Man's Love

    Anthony Trollope
  • Well, belike they were lovers bickering, and we may wish them luck out of that.

  • Munching on a fistful of moss, he hurried down to the shore, half fearing to find the shell gone, his luck out once again.

    Storm Over Warlock Andre Norton
  • A boy would better put 15 luck out of his mind if he means to accomplish anything.

  • I was just a wonderful leathery great joss that had come up with luck out of the water.

  • "I am a machinist, and want to try my luck out West," said another young man hailing from a manufacturing town in Massachusetts.

    The Seat of Empire Charles Carleton Coffin
British Dictionary definitions for luck out

luck out

verb (intransitive, adverb)
to have good fortune; be lucky: the US economy lucked out for most of the decade


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for luck out



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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for luck out

luck out

verb phrase

  1. To be very unlucky; be doomed (WWII Army)
  2. To be lucky; get something by good luck: that he will luck out after his search and create operation (1954+)

[one of the slang expressions that can mean opposite things]



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.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with luck out

luck out

Also,luck into. Gain success or something desirable through good fortune. For example, We lucked out and found the same rug for half the price, or Nell and Dave lucked into a terrific apartment. [ ; mid-1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for luck out

Difficulty index for luck

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for luck

Scrabble Words With Friends