adjective, un·luck·i·er, un·luck·i·est.

(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 formsun·luck·i·ly, adverbun·luck·i·ness, noun

Synonyms for unlucky

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unlucky

Contemporary Examples of unlucky

Historical Examples of unlucky

  • 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 failurean unlucky person; an unlucky chance
ill-omened; inauspiciousan unlucky date
regrettable; disappointing
British dialect causing trouble; mischievous
Derived Formsunluckily, adverbunluckiness, 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

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