Definition of luck noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//lʌk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//lʌk//
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  1. 1  good things that happen to you by chance, not because of your own efforts or abilities With (any) luck, we’ll be home before dark. (British English) With a bit of luck, we'll finish on time. So far I have had no luck with finding a job. I could hardly believe my luck when he said yes. It was a stroke of luck that we found you. By sheer luck nobody was hurt in the explosion. We wish her luck in her new career. You're in luck (= lucky)—there's one ticket left. You're out of luck. She's not here. What a piece of luck! The only goal of the match came more by luck than judgement. Finally my luck ran out and they caught me trying to climb the outer wall. She dared not trust to luck that nobody would see her. see also beginner’s luck
  2. 2  chance; the force that causes good or bad things to happen to people synonym fortune to have good/bad luck I put the loss of the money down to pure bad luck. Synonymsluckchance coincidence accident fate destinyThese are all words for things that happen or the force that causes them to happen.luck the force that causes good or bad things to happen to people:This ring has always brought me good luck.chance the way that some things happen without any cause that you can see or understand:The results could simply be due to chance.coincidence the fact of two things happening at the same time by chance, in a surprising way:They met through a series of strange coincidences.accident something that happens unexpectedly and is not planned in advance:Their early arrival was just an accident.fate the power that is believed to control everything that happens and that cannot be stopped or changed:Fate decreed that she would never reach America.destiny the power that is believed to control events:I believe there’s some force guiding us—call it God, destiny or fate.fate or destiny? Fate can be kind, but this is an unexpected gift; just as often, fate is cruel and makes people feel helpless. Destiny is more likely to give people a sense of power: people who have a strong sense of destiny usually believe that they are meant to be great or do great things.Patterns by …luck/​chance/​coincidence/​accident It’s no coincidence/​accident that… pure/​sheer luck/​chance/​coincidence/​accident to believe in luck/​coincidences/​fate/​destiny see also hard-luck story Wordfinderamulet, charm, coincidence, fate, fortune, jinx, luck, mascot, superstition, talisman
  3. Word Originlate Middle English (as a verb): perhaps from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch lucken. The noun use (late 15th cent.) is from Middle Low German lucke, related to Dutch geluk, German Glück, of West Germanic origin and possibly related to lock (verb). Express YourselfWishing somebody luckIf someone is going to do something difficult, you can wish them luck: Good luck! The best of luck for the exam! (British English) I hope it goes well! We'll be thinking about you. All the best! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.Responses: Thanks. I'll do my best.Extra examples By a stroke of luck I came across it in a local bookshop. By ill luck, my flight had been cancelled. By sheer luck we managed to get out in time. Don’t push your luck! He couldn’t believe his luck when the other candidate for the job withdrew. He went on gambling, sure his luck was about to change. I always carry it with me, just for luck. I decided to try my luck at the roulette wheel. I don’t know why I did so well—it must be beginner’s luck. I had hoped there would be another train, but I was out of luck. I haven’t had much luck recently. I thought I was going to miss the train but luck was on my side. I wished her luck for the future. If our luck holds, we should win. If you didn’t win a prize, better luck next time. It looks as though our luck’s finally run out. It was rotten luck to be ill on the day of the interview. It was sheer luck that we met like that. Just my luck to get the broken chair! More bad luck struck last week. This ring has always brought me good luck. We rode our luck towards the end of the game. With luck, we’ll get there before it closes. You make your own luck in business. You’re in luck—there are just two tickets left. In the movie they play two jazz musicians who are down on their luck. It was his hard luck that he wasn’t chosen. It’s not something I would care to try myself but if she wants to, good luck to her. My grandparents emigrated to Canada to try their luck there. Never mind— better luck next time. To a large extent the life you have depends on who your parents were; it’s just the luck of the biological draw.Idioms (informal) used to ask somebody if they have been successful with something ‘Any luck?’ ‘No, they're all too busy to help.’ in the way that chance decides what will happen As luck would have it, the train was late.
    bad, hard, etc. luck (on somebody)
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    used to express sympathy for somebody Bad luck, Helen, you played very well. It's hard luck on him that he wasn't chosen. What rotten luck it had to happen now!
    (informal) to have no money because of a period of bad luck
    the best of luck (with something), good luck (with something)
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     (informal) used to wish somebody success with something The best of luck with your exams. Good luck! I hope it goes well.
    (informal) used to encourage somebody who has not been successful at something
    1. 1because you believe it will bring you good luck, or because this is a traditional belief Take something blue. It's for luck.
    2. 2(informal) for no particular reason I hit him once more for luck.
    (informal) used to say that you do not mind what somebody does as it does not affect you, but you hope they will be successful It's not something I would care to try myself but if she wants to, good luck to her. (British English, informal) used as a way of saying that you are sorry about something, usually ironically (= you really mean the opposite)
    just my/somebody’s luck
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    (informal) used to show you are not surprised something bad has happened to you, because you are not often lucky Just my luck to arrive after they had left.
    your/somebody’s luck is in
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    used to say that somebody has been lucky or successful On a Sunday I didn’t expect to find him at his desk but my luck was in.
    the fact that chance decides something, in a way that you cannot control To a large extent the life you have depends on who your parents were; it’s just the luck of the biological draw. used to show disappointment that something you were hoping for did not happen ‘Were you chosen for the team?’ ‘No such luck!’ when you take pot luck, you choose something or go somewhere without knowing very much about it, but hope that it will be good, pleasant, etc. It's pot luck whether you get good advice or not. You're welcome to stay to supper, but you'll have to take pot luck (= eat whatever is available). see also potluck
    push your luck, push it/things
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    (informal) to take a risk because you have successfully avoided problems in the past You didn't get caught last time, but don't push your luck!
    1. 1used to show sympathy for something unfortunate that has happened to somebody ‘I failed by one point.’ ‘That's tough luck.’
    2. 2(ironic) used to show that you do not feel sorry for somebody who has a problem ‘If you take the car, I won't be able to go out.’ ‘Tough luck!’
    try your luck (at something)
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    to do something that involves risk or luck, hoping to succeed My grandparents emigrated to Canada to try their luck there.
    (British English, informal) used to show that you are disappointed about something I shall have to miss the party, worse luck!
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: luck