A phrase used to express one's sympathy for someone else. A: "I got drenched on my walk to work because I forgot my umbrella." B: "Aw, hard lines."
1. modifier Of or characterized by misfortune, hardship, adversity, etc. I can understand John's tendency to drink, as he's led quite a hard-luck life. Here he goes again with some hard-luck story to get us to pay for his drinks.
2. noun Misfortune, hardship, adversity, etc. I've been having a lot of hard luck lately. It just seems like nothing is going right for me!
3. An expression of sympathy or condolences for someone who has experienced some slight or mild misfortune or hardship. I just heard that Janet broke up with you. That's hard luck, buddy.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Misfortune, adversity, as in He's had a lot of hard luck in his day. This expression is also used in the phrase hard-luck story, a tale of one's misfortune that is related in order to get sympathy (or a donation). For example, We can't ignore her hard-luck story, even if you doubt that it's true. [Second half of 1500s] Also see tough break.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ˌhard ˈluck/ˈlines(British English) used to tell somebody that you feel sorry for them: ‘Failed again, I’m afraid.’ ‘Oh, hard luck.’
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