Definition of luck in English:

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Pronunciation: /lək/


1Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions: it was just luck that the first kick went in this charm was supposed to bring good luck
More example sentences
  • If well-performed, the lion dance is believed to bring luck and happiness.
  • It is believed that these purchases will bring luck and prosperity to the buyers.
  • We would say good luck Latoya, but from looks of it luck will have little to do with it!
success, prosperity, good fortune, good luck
1.1Chance considered as a force that causes good or bad things to happen: luck was with me
More example sentences
  • Actually, I had a lot of luck on my side when I chose the circumstances of my birth.
  • He continued his good form but rode on his luck after he was dropped twice.
  • All I hoped is the luck we thought was on its way to Carlow continues on its journey too.
fortune, fate, destiny, Lady Luck, lot, the stars, karma, kismet;
fortuity, serendipity;
chance, accident, a twist of fate
1.2Something regarded as bringing about or portending good or bad things: I don’t like Friday—it’s bad luck
good fortune, good luck;
a fluke, a stroke of luck
informal a lucky break


[no object] (luck into/onto) informal
1Chance to find or acquire: he lucked into a disc-jockey job
More example sentences
  • Usually, when lucking into a second chance, the thinking man will be sure to conduct himself more wisely.
  • I really lucked into this and was able to get out of the other deal.
  • This time I lucked into a nonstop flight that deposited me in the Rockies early enough to get a four-hour nap, so alas I really had nothing to blame my behavior on, except perhaps for my public-school education.
1.1 (luck out) North American Achieve success or advantage by good luck: I lucked out and found a wonderful woman
More example sentences
  • I can't afford to do that often… so he lucks out there.
  • I don't really care about getting a gift from a stranger, or sending one to a stranger (although that year I lucked out and got someone I know.)
  • Some last minute shoppers might luck out as retailers boost perks to lure shoppers.



as luck would have it

Used to indicate that something happened purely by chance: as luck would have it, his route took him very near where they lived
More example sentences
  • Anything can happen on the day and as luck would have it, it looks like the ground will be just right.
  • But as luck would have it, one day in 2000 turned it around.
  • But as luck would have it, apparently some trains that don't usually run on that track are being rerouted through 7th Avenue.

tough luck

informal Used to express a lack of sympathy: tough luck if they complain
More example sentences
  • They look at the situation and say, ‘Well, tough luck, Nova Scotia, we'll give it to New Brunswick.’
  • So the grand final was switched to Sunday night, and by the time the presentations are made, its 10 pm or later - tough luck if you live in Queensland or Victoria and the kids have to go to school the next day.
  • If a woman has had 8 children already and is worn out with the demands already put on her, taking anti-depressants and determined that she can't cope with anymore, do we say No, tough luck.

be in (or out of) luck

Be fortunate (or unfortunate).
Example sentences
  • On this occasion, though, they were out of luck.
  • Though of course if you didn't want the dented ones, you were out of luck.
  • The home side were out of luck in the one-day competitions as well.
fortunate, lucky, blessed with good luck, born under a lucky star;
successful, having a charmed life
unfortunate, unlucky, luckless, hapless, unsuccessful, cursed, jinxed, ill-fated
informal down on one's luck
literary star-crossed

for luck

To bring good fortune: I wear this crystal under my costume for luck
More example sentences
  • It seemed that everyone in the casino wanted to touch me for luck (I felt like a leprechaun!)
  • The wedding, attended by more than 100 friends and family, also featured the traditional farming custom of an arch of pitchforks, which the couple walked under for luck.
  • So we'll top up with another 12 UK pints for luck.

good (or the best of) luck

Used to express wishes for success: good luck with your studies!
More example sentences
  • Her family and many friends wish her good luck and every success in her career.
  • He is wished every success and good luck in his new post by his neighbours and friends.
  • The club extend thanks to all those who purchased tickets and wish them the best of luck in the four remaining draws.

the luck of the draw

The outcome of chance rather than something one can control: quality of care depends largely on the luck of the draw
More example sentences
  • Ideally, you also want to be drawn at home but it is very much the luck of the draw.
  • If ever a team deserved to get the luck of the draw, it was Exeter.
  • But enforcement and justice around simple possession still has a lot to do with the luck of the draw: charges and sentencing can vary among and within police jurisdictions.

no such luck

informal Used to express disappointment that something has not happened or is unlikely to happen.
Example sentences
  • A few years earlier, he would've had no such luck.
  • As with the last few mornings, after getting up I crept around the corner of the stairs, hoping to see a large chair-shaped parcel sitting in the hall, but no such luck.
  • I had planned to sleep, I tried to sleep but no such luck.

try one's luck

Do something that involves risk or luck, hoping to succeed: he thought he’d try his luck at farming in Canada
More example sentences
  • Abroad, you don't need to part be of one of the ‘pro’ teams to take part in road races and many independent riders try their luck, hoping to catch the eye of scouts.
  • Bower can understand why other players are prepared to take the risk and try their luck with City despite the continuous financial problems.
  • He gets himself invited to a party at Jenna's, hoping to try his luck at spin the bottle, but insists that Nicholas comes along.

with (any or a little or a bit of) luck

Expressing the hope that something will happen in the way described: with luck we should be there in time for breakfast
More example sentences
  • Well, with any luck, I hope they would prepare for paternity leave, actually.
  • So there you have it, dear reader, our first expedition to Germany, Austria and Italy, and, with a bit of luck, hopefully not our last!
  • Hopefully, with a bit of luck and by staying injury-free, I can do that as well.

worse luck

British informal Used to express regret about something: I have to go to secretarial school, worse luck
More example sentences
  • To be sure he's dead, worse luck for him.
  • We'd been hoping to catch the sunset but were slightly too late, worse luck… however, seeing Sydney by night more than made up for it.
  • Tickets will be like gold-dust, worse luck.


Late Middle English (as a verb): perhaps from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch lucken. The noun use (late 15th century) is from Middle Low German lucke, related to Dutch geluk, German Glück, of West Germanic origin and possibly related to lock1.

  • The native English word for that which determines events was weird, which only came to mean strange or supernatural in the early 19th century. Destiny (Middle English) came later via French from Latin destinare ‘make firm, establish’, fate from Italian, and luck from German. The idea of lucky at cards, unlucky in love is already a commonplace in Jonathan Swift's Polite Conversation in 1738: ‘Well, Miss, you'll have a sad husband, you have such good luck at cards.’

Words that rhyme with luck

buck, Canuck, chuck, cluck, cruck, duck, muck, pluck, puck, ruck, schmuck, shuck, struck, stuck, suck, truck, tuck, upchuck, yuck

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: luck

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