down on one's luck

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down on one's luck (comparative more down on one's luck, superlative most down on one's luck)

  1. (idiomatic) Unlucky or undergoing a period of bad luck, especially with respect to financial matters.
    • 1915, Edward Stratemeyer, chapter 28, in The Rover Boys in Business:
      If Crabtree is down on his luck he will most likely be willing to do anything for money.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare & Co.; Sylvia Beach, OCLC 560090630; republished London: Published for the Egoist Press, London by John Rodker, Paris, October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
      , Episode 16:
      --He is down on his luck. He asked me to ask you to ask somebody named Boylan, a billsticker, to give him a job as a sandwichman.
    • 1954 April 19, "The New Pictures," Time:
      Willie "tries to resist"—being, as the synopsis explains, "an attractive and intelligent girl who is simply down on her luck in the ruins of postwar Germany."
    • 2008 July 1, Mel Antonen, "Rays, A's using same formula for success," USA Today (retrieved 3 Nov 2008):
      Pitcher Kyle Lohse, 29, who has had unsuccessful stints with the Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies, seems to have found a home with the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that has a knack for turning around pitchers down on their luck.