15 Words For Someone Who Brings Bad Luck

Do you have a strong belief in luck? Then, you may seek the best words to express your perceptions or experiences with unlucky people.

Sometimes, when talking about people you believe have negatively influenced situations, it can be challenging to find the right words that describe their personality.

If you’re unsure what to call someone who brings bad luck, you’ve come to the right place!

Below, I’ve compiled a list of great terms for someone who always turns sunshine into gloom.

15 Words For Someone Who Brings Bad Luck

  • Unlucky charm
  • Bad omen
  • Star-crossed
  • Misfortune magnet
  • Luckless
  • Jonah
  • Hoodoo
  • Hex
  • The evil eye
  • Curse
  • Black Cloud
  • Jinxed
  • Ill-fated
  • Cursed individual
  • Downfall bringer



  • The best word for someone who brings bad luck is “Unlucky charm.” It is super versatile, and you can use it in different contexts. It is also easy to understand.
  • Describing someone as a “Bad omen” means that their presence alone can be a misfortune for future events or happening. So it’s a befitting word for someone who brings bad luck.
  • You can call someone who brings bad luck  “Star-crossed” if you believe them to be thwarted by bad luck.
  • “Luckless” will work best for formal settings


You can see that any of the above-listed words will work when describing someone who brings bad luck, but some will be more befitting in certain situations than others.

So keep reading. We still need to discuss our top seven words for someone who brings bad luck in more detail.

As a bonus, I’ll show you how to use each word choice in useful example sentences.

Unlucky Charm

Words For Someone Who Brings Bad Luck

The phrase “unlucky charm” is a befitting word for someone who brings bad luck. Reverso Dictionary describes the term as “misfortune or failure of an unlucky person.”

We can also look at the term “unlucky charm” as a clever play on words that aptly describes someone who consistently brings bad luck or misfortune to those around them.

“Charm” is typically associated with something that brings good luck or protection, but the word “unlucky” indicates the opposite.

This juxtaposition highlights the irony of a person who, instead of being a source of good luck, seems to attract negative events or outcomes.

So you can use it in a situation where the person genuinely has good intentions but inadvertently brings misfortune to themselves and others.

It conveys that the person’s presence or influence, like a charm, has an impact.

But the impact is overwhelmingly negative rather than positive.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • I can’t believe it! Every time Tom joins our team for a project, something goes wrong. It’s like he’s an unlucky charm or something.
  • I can’t believe we lost the game again! Every time Tim plays with us, we end up on the losing side. It’s as if he’s some sort of unlucky charm for our team.

Bad Omen

When someone is labeled as a “bad omen,” it implies that their presence or actions are associated with negative outcomes.

The origin of this word comes from the word “omen,” which Collins Dictionary describes as “something thought to happen in the future likely.”

“Bad omen” matches the profile of someone who brings bad luck because it draws upon the concept of omens.

Let’s assume  you’re going on a picnic and someone known for causing accidents or bad weather joins, and then it starts raining heavily, and you have to cancel the breeze; you might say that person is a “bad omen.”

It means their presence seemed to bring bad luck, like a sign warning of trouble ahead.

So, when we call someone a “bad omen,” it suggests that their presence or actions tend to lead to unfortunate outcomes.

You are taking a cue from the word “omen,” which is thought to predict unfortunate things in the future.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • Have you noticed that every time he joins our poker game, we end up losing? I may be overreaching, but it’s like he’s a bad omen or something.
  • I can’t believe our outdoor wedding got rained out. It was perfectly sunny all week leading up to today. It’s like her presence is a bad omen for outdoor events.


Words For Someone Who Brings Bad Luck

Star-crossed is an adjective you can use to describe someone who is known for bringing bad luck.

It comes from the idea that the stars in the sky can affect a person’s destiny. It’s like saying that the universe is working against them.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “star-crossed” simply means unlucky. But in some other bodies of knowledge, the time is usually described as ill-farted or not favored by the stars.

Do you remember those stories where people believe that the position of the stars and planets in the sky can influence what happens in our lives? Exactly.

Even if you don’t believe in astrology, you can use the reference to describe someone prone to bad luck.

It’s as if they were born under a bad sign or a dark cloud, and bad things just seem to happen to them, often through no fault of their own.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • Sometimes, I wonder why everything goes wrong for Tom, but it’s like he’s star-crossed.
  • In the first interview, she got stuck in traffic and arrived late. Then, in the second one, her phone died right when they were about to call her in. She must be star-crossed when it comes to job interviews.”

Misfortune magnet

Unlike derogatory terms for a person with bad luck, “Misfortune magnet” is relatively neutral. So you don’t sound like you’re insulting the person.

Above all, I like the imagery that “Misfortune Magnet” evokes. The term conjures a vivid mental image of a person who acts as a powerful force field, pulling unfortunate events towards them.

This imagery makes it easy for people to understand you intuitively.

According to Urban Dictionary, the term also synonymizes with “disaster magnet,” which essentially means a person prone to such bad luck that anything could go wrong.

I also love the alliteration element in this phrase option. The repeated ‘m’ sound in “Misfortune Magnet” adds a rhythmic quality to the phrase. It makes the term catchy and memorable.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • Have you heard about the pastor? He lost his job, his car broke down, and his house leaked in the same week! He is truly a misfortune magnet. It’s like bad luck; you can’t stay away from him.
  • Poor Emeka, he’s a real misfortune magnet, isn’t he? It’s like the universe conspires to throw bad luck his way


“Luckless” is a concise and precise term describing someone who brings bad luck.

It is straightforward to understand. So, you can use it in any context, especially for a formal setting.

I also like the visual imagery of the term. It evokes the mental image of someone devoid of luck. When you use this word, it conveys the idea that the person is pursued by misfortune.

I like the way Collins Dictionary puts the definition of luckless: having no luck. This also means bringing bad luck. Meanwhile, other sources describe it as “unfortunate,” “unlucky,” and even “plagued.”

Unlike some other terms that might carry negative connotations, such as “jinx” or “curse,” “Luckless” maintains a neutral tone. So you can use it without sounding offensive.

However, I would not recommend you use it during serious or sensitive topics where empathy and sensitivity are crucial.

For example, when consoling someone who has experienced a tragedy or loss, it’s better to use more compassionate language.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • Well, she had been planning this dream vacation to a tropical paradise for months. The day before her flight, she got severe food poisoning and had to cancel the trip. Poor Sarah. She’s incredibly luckless when it comes to vacations.
  • Matthew does seem luckless lately. It’s like he can’t catch a break.


According to Collins Dictionary, “Jonah” means someone believed to bring bad luck to those around them.

Jonah is a name. But it has been associated with bad luck due to the biblical story of Jonah and the whale.

According to the Book of Jonah in the Old Testament, Jonah was a prophet who tried to evade his divine mission and ended up being swallowed by a great fish.

His disobedience and misadventures at sea resulted in a storm that endangered the crew and passengers of the ship he was on.

To save themselves, the sailors eventually threw Jonah overboard, after which the giant fish swallowed him.

If you look at this narrative, you will see it reeks of bad luck and misfortune, as Jonah’s actions led to peril and chaos for those around him.

Since then, people have used the name “Jonah” colloquially to describe anyone whose presence seems to bring a streak of bad luck or unfortunate events.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • Can you believe it? Our team lost again! We were on a winning streak, and then Bob joined us, and everything fell apart. It’s like he’s a Jonah or something
  • You won’t believe what happened on our vacation. We had the worst luck ever. We had this guy named Pogba with us. He’s a total Jonah. First, our flight got delayed for hours, and we missed our connecting flight


Words For Someone Who Brings Bad Luck

When you hear the word “Hoodoo,” it sounds mysterious and a bit scary. This makes it a good fit for describing someone who brings bad luck, as it suggests they might have some hidden, negative power.

Even Dictionary.com describes Hoodoo as bad luck or a person or thing that brings bad luck.

In the past, Hoodoo was associated with the idea that some people could use magic to harm others or protect themselves.

This suggests a “Hoodoo” person might be responsible for bad luck.

Over time, “Hoodoo” has become part of everyday language. I hear it more from people who hairworm the Southern United States.

People use it casually to describe someone who always seems to have bad things happen around them.

Remember that some people might not be familiar with the term “Hoodoo” or its figurative usage, and they might take it literally or find it confusing.

To avoid misunderstandings, especially in a formal setting, use more commonly understood language like “bad omen” or “unlucky.”

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • It’s like he’s got some kind of Hoodoo following him around. Every project he’s been on ends up in disaster.
  • Tim’s got some Hoodoo going on. Every time he’s around, things just don’t go our way

Keep in mind that your tone also matters when using these words. You can use these words humorously or sarcastically to describe someone who seems to bring bad luck in a lighthearted manner.

It could even be that you’re writing a story and need descriptive words to create well-rounded characters, including those who bring bad luck, in your narratives. These words will come in handy.

So, I encourage you to bookmark this page so you can return to it in the future to get ideas.

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