Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The chance happening of fortunate or adverse events; fortune.
  • noun Good fortune or prosperity; success.
  • noun One's personal fate or lot.
  • intransitive verb To gain success or something desirable by chance.
  • idiom (as luck would have it) As it turned out; as it happened.
  • idiom (in luck) Enjoying success; fortunate.
  • idiom (out of luck) Lacking good fortune.
  • idiom (press/push) To risk one's good fortune, often by acting overconfidently.
  • idiom (try (one's) luck) To attempt something without knowing if one will be successful.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A lock of wool twisted on the finger of a spinner.
  • noun Fortune; hap; that which happens to a person by chance, conceived as having a real tendency to be favorable or unfavorable, or as if there were an inward connection between a succes sion of fortuitous occurrences having the same character as favorable or unfavorable.
  • noun Good fortune; favorable hap; a supposed something, pertaining to a person, at least for a time, giving to fortuitous events a favorable character; also, in a weakened sense, a fortuitous combination of favorable occurrences.
  • noun An object with which good fortune is thought to be connected; especially, a vessel for holding liquid, as a drinking-cup.
  • noun Synonyms See happy.
  • To be lucky.
  • To make lucky.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun That which happens to a person; an event, good or ill, affecting one's interests or happiness, and which is deemed casual; a course or series of such events regarded as occurring by chance; chance; hap; fate; fortune; often, one's habitual or characteristic fortune. Luck is often used by itself to mean good luck.
  • noun [Prov. Eng.] a small sum given back for luck to one who pays money.
  • noun to receive some good, or to meet with some success, in an unexpected manner, or as the result of circumstances beyond one's control; to be fortunate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Something that happens to someone by chance, a chance occurrence.
  • noun A superstitious feeling that brings fortune or success.
  • noun success
  • verb intransitive To succeed by chance.
  • verb intransitive To rely on luck.
  • verb transitive To carry out relying on luck.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you)
  • noun an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another
  • noun an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that leads to a favorable outcome

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English lucke, from Middle Dutch luc, short for gheluc.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English luk, lukke, related to Old Frisian luk ("luck"), West Frisian gelok ("luck"), Dutch geluk ("luck"), Low German luk ("luck"), German Glück ("luck, good fortune, happiness"), Danish lykke ("luck"), Swedish lycka ("luck"), Icelandic lukka ("luck").

Examples

  • While the romantic side of me would like to believe in "luck" - the karmic, cosmic smiling-upon-me type of luck, the scientific side of me completely agrees with Lena West.

    Screw Luck? Really?

  • And then, turning to leave him, 'An' will ye say a mass if the luck is against me? '

    The Men of Forty-Mile

  • And then, turning to leave him, 'An' will ye say a mass if the luck is against me? '

    The Men of Forty Mile

  • Well, your luck is about to change with a little assistance from Lavish Lifestyles, LLC.

    A Luxury Personal Concierge Taking Personalized Service to the Next Level

  • MAATHAI: They say that what we call luck is opportunity that meets preparedness.

    CNN Transcript Oct 6, 2007

  • "I sometimes wonder if what we call luck is merely the will of God, " Otero observed sadly, -and that therefore Cochrane has been sent to scourge Spain for a reason.

    Sharpe's Devil

  • "Well, this is what I call luck!" exclaimed Ferd Stowing.

    Billie Bradley on Lighthouse Island The Mystery of the Wreck

  • "Well, this is what I call luck -- pure, unadulterated luck, with sugar on it," drawled Ham as he surveyed the house.

    Buffalo Roost

  • "Ephraim, my son!" said the old gambler, with a cunning smile, "I'll tell you something -- There are persons whose whole powers are devoted to one object -- how to win a fortune; in the same way as there are some who study to become doctors, and the like, so these study what we call luck ... and from them I've learned it."

    Stories by Foreign Authors: German — Volume 2

  • Whenever you hear any one expatiating upon what he calls the luck of some one else, you may be sure that he is a person entirely deficient in those qualities which could attract what he calls luck, but what is really, in the majority of cases, merely the result of hard work based upon a reasoned poise.

    Poise: How to Attain It

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