Definitions

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

  • n. The act or an instance of losing: nine losses during the football season.
  • n. One that is lost: wrote their flooded house off as a loss.
  • n. The condition of being deprived or bereaved of something or someone: mourning their loss.
  • n. The amount of something lost: selling at a 50 percent loss.
  • n. The harm or suffering caused by losing or being lost.
  • n. People lost in wartime; casualties.
  • n. Destruction: The war caused incalculable loss.
  • n. Electricity The power decrease caused by resistance in a circuit, circuit element, or device.
  • n. The amount of a claim on an insurer by an insured.
  • idiom at a loss Below cost: sold the merchandise at a loss.
  • idiom at a loss Perplexed; puzzled: I am at a loss to understand those remarks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an instance of losing, such as a defeat
  • n. something that is lost
  • n. the hurtful condition of having lost something or someone
  • n. casualties, especially physically eliminated victims of violent conflict
  • n. the sum an entity loses on balance
  • n. destruction, ruin
  • n. electricity of kinetic power expended without doing useful work

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of losing; failure; destruction; privation
  • n. The state of losing or having lost; the privation, defect, misfortune, harm, etc., which ensues from losing.
  • n. That which is lost or from which one has parted; waste; -- opposed to gain or increase.
  • n. The state of being lost or destroyed; especially, the wreck or foundering of a ship or other vessel.
  • n. Failure to gain or win.
  • n. Failure to use advantageously.
  • n. Killed, wounded, and captured persons, or captured property.
  • n. Destruction or diminution of value, if brought about in a manner provided for in the insurance contract (as destruction by fire or wreck, damage by water or smoke), or the death or injury of an insured person; also, the sum paid or payable therefor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Failure to hold, keep, or preserve what one has had in his possession; disappearance from possession, use, or knowledge; deprivation of that which one has had: as, the loss of money by gaming; loss of health or reputation; loss of children: opposed to gain.
  • n. Specifically, death.
  • n. Failure to gain or win: as, the loss of a prize or battle.
  • n. That which is lost or forfeited; that which has been scattered or wasted: as, the loss by leakage amounted to 20 gallons; an insurance company's loss by a fire.
  • n. Defeat; overthrow; ruin.
  • n. Lack; want.
  • n. The state of being at fault; the state of having lost the trail and scent of game.
  • n. At such a price as to lose or incur loss.
  • n. To sustain a loss with spirit or fortitude.
  • n. Synonyms Loss, Detriment, Damage, Waste, Forfeiture, etc. Loss is the class word under which detriment, damage, waste, forfeiture, etc., are species. Loss, detriment, and damage apply to persons or things; waste and forfeiture only to things. As to detriment and damage, see injury. Waste is generally voluntary, although not always realized; sometimes it is only by neglect. Forfeiture is a loss through the law, as a penalty or as the result of neglect.
  • n. See loess.

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

  • n. the act of losing someone or something
  • n. the disadvantage that results from losing something
  • n. something that is lost
  • n. gradual decline in amount or activity
  • n. the amount by which the cost of a business exceeds its revenue
  • n. euphemistic expressions for death
  • n. the experience of losing a loved one
  • n. military personnel lost by death or capture

Etymologies

Middle English los, from Old English; see lose.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English has los "loss, destruction," from a Proto-Germanic root *lausam- (see lose), but the modern word probably evolved in the 14th century from lost, the original past participle of lose, itself from Old English losian "be lost, perish," from los "destruction, loss", from a Proto-Germanic root *lausa (compare O.N. los "the breaking up of an army"), from Proto-Indo-Eeuopean base *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart, untie, separate" (Wiktionary)

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