hard luck

Misfortune, adversity, as in He's had a lot of hard luck in his day. This expression is also used in the phrase hard-luck story, a tale of one's misfortune that is related in order to get sympathy (or a donation). For example, We can't ignore her hard-luck story, even if you doubt that it's true. [Second half of 1500s] Also see tough break.

Words Nearby hard luck

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

How to use hard luck in a sentence

  • But he had hard luck, too, for another carbuncle developed at Melbourne and kept him laid up for nearly a week.

  • While gloomily grieving over his hard luck, the faint odor of rice-wine seemed borne on the breeze.

    Japanese Fairy World | William Elliot Griffis
  • Besides, the Briton came out of the affair with such hard luck, that there is much sympathy for him.

    Miss Caprice | St. George Rathborne
  • But it can't be helped—there was nothing to be picked up abroad, after that double stroke of hard luck.

    In Friendship's Guise | Wm. Murray Graydon