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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
First recorded in 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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unlucky
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I am to be unlucky in all I do, I think, be my intentions ever so good.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Many a rod, I grieve to say, was worn to the stump on that unlucky night.

    Biographical Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • It was profusely strewed with the plunder of that unlucky fortress.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • Still, anything was liable to happen when his unlucky star was in the ascendant.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • And Charley, unlucky Charley, had managed to get into hot water with the college school.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
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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