Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To be unsuccessful in retaining possession of; mislay: He's always losing his car keys.
  • transitive v. To be deprived of (something one has had): lost her art collection in the fire; lost her job.
  • transitive v. To be left alone or desolate because of the death of: lost his wife.
  • transitive v. To be unable to keep alive: a doctor who has lost very few patients.
  • transitive v. To be unable to keep control or allegiance of: lost his temper at the meeting; is losing supporters by changing his mind.
  • transitive v. To fail to win; fail in: lost the game; lost the court case.
  • transitive v. To fail to use or take advantage of: Don't lose a chance to improve your position.
  • transitive v. To fail to hear, see, or understand: We lost the plane in the fog. I lost her when she started speaking about thermodynamics.
  • transitive v. To let (oneself) become unable to find the way.
  • transitive v. To remove (oneself), as from everyday reality into a fantasy world.
  • transitive v. To rid oneself of: lost five pounds.
  • transitive v. To consume aimlessly; waste: lost a week in idle occupations.
  • transitive v. To wander from or become ignorant of: lose one's way.
  • transitive v. To elude or outdistance: lost their pursuers.
  • transitive v. To be outdistanced by: chased the thieves but lost them.
  • transitive v. To become slow by (a specified amount of time). Used of a timepiece.
  • transitive v. To cause or result in the loss of: Failure to reply to the advertisement lost her the job.
  • transitive v. To cause to be destroyed. Usually used in the passive: Both planes were lost in the crash.
  • transitive v. To cause to be damned.
  • intransitive v. To suffer loss.
  • intransitive v. To be defeated.
  • intransitive v. To operate or run slow. Used of a timepiece.
  • lose out To fail to achieve or receive an expected gain.
  • idiom lose it Slang To lose control; blow up.
  • idiom lose it Slang To become deranged or mentally disturbed.
  • idiom lose it Slang To become less capable or proficient; decline.
  • idiom lose out on To miss (an opportunity, for example).
  • idiom lose time To operate too slowly. Used of a timepiece.
  • idiom lose time To delay advancement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cause (something) to cease to be in one's possession or capability due to unfortunate or unknown circumstances, events or reasons.
  • v. To have (an organ) removed from one's body, especially by accident.
  • v. To fail to win (a game, competition, trial, etc).
  • v. To shed (weight); to reduce.
  • v. To experience the death of (someone to whom one has an attachment, such as a relative or friend).
  • v. To be unable to follow or trace (somebody or something) any longer.
  • v. To shed, remove, discard, or eliminate.
  • v. Of a clock, to run slower than expected.
  • v. To cause (someone) the loss of something; to deprive of.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To suffer loss, disadvantage, or defeat; to be worse off, esp. as the result of any kind of contest.
  • transitive v. To part with unintentionally or unwillingly, as by accident, misfortune, negligence, penalty, forfeit, etc.; to be deprived of
  • transitive v. To cease to have; to possess no longer; to suffer diminution of
  • transitive v. Not to employ; to employ ineffectually; to throw away; to waste; to squander
  • transitive v. To wander from; to miss, so as not to be able to and; to go astray from.
  • transitive v. To ruin; to destroy; as destroy.
  • transitive v. To be deprived of the view of; to cease to see or know the whereabouts of.
  • transitive v. To fail to obtain or enjoy; to fail to gain or win; hence, to fail to catch with the mind or senses; to miss.
  • transitive v. To cause to part with; to deprive of.
  • transitive v. To prevent from gaining or obtaining.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To miss from present possession or knowledge; part with or be parted from by misadventure; fail to keep, as something that one owns, or is in charge of or concerned for, or would keep.
  • To be dispossessed, deprived, or bereaved of; be prevented or debarred from keeping, holding, or retaining; be parted from without wish or consent: as, to lose money by speculation; to lose blood by a wound; to lose one's hair by sickness; to lose a friend by death.
  • To cease to have; part with through change of condition or relations; be rid of or disengaged from.
  • To fail to preserve or maintain: as, to lose one's reputation or reason; to lose credit.
  • To fail to gain or win; fail to grasp or secure; miss; let slip: as, to lose an opportunity; to lose a prize, a game, or a battle.
  • To let slip or escape from observation, perception, etc.: as, I lost what he was saying, from inattention; we lost the ship in the fog.
  • To fail to profit by; miss the use, advantage, or enjoyment of; waste.
  • To cause to miss or be deprived of; subject to the loss of: as, his slowness lost him the chance.
  • To displace, dislodge, or expel.
  • To give over to ruin, disgrace, or shame: chiefly in the past participle.
  • To be bewildered; have the thoughts or reason hopelessly perplexed or confused.
  • To become abstracted or fall into a reverie; become absorbed in thought; lose consciousness, as in slumber.
  • To suffer loss or deprivation.
  • To incur forfeit in a contest; fail to win.
  • To succumb; fail; suffer by comparison.
  • A Middle English form of loose.
  • To praise.
  • n. The act of losing; loss.
  • n. Praise; fame; reputation; credit.
  • n. Report; news; gossip.

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

  • v. place (something) where one cannot find it again
  • v. fail to keep or to maintain; cease to have, either physically or in an abstract sense
  • v. retreat
  • v. fail to make money in a business; make a loss or fail to profit
  • v. miss from one's possessions; lose sight of
  • v. fail to perceive or to catch with the senses or the mind
  • v. fail to get or obtain
  • v. suffer the loss of a person through death or removal
  • v. fail to win
  • v. allow to go out of sight
  • v. be set at a disadvantage

Etymologies

Middle English losen, from Old English losian, to perish, from los, loss.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English losian (Wiktionary)

Examples

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