from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or an instance of losing.
  • noun One that is lost.
  • noun The condition of being deprived or bereaved of something or someone.
  • noun The amount of something lost.
  • noun The harm or suffering caused by losing or being lost.
  • noun People lost in wartime; casualties.
  • noun Destruction.
  • noun Electricity The power decrease caused by resistance in a circuit, circuit element, or device.
  • noun The amount of a claim on an insurer by an insured.
  • idiom (at a loss) Below cost.
  • idiom (at a loss) Perplexed; puzzled.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Specifically, death.
  • noun Failure to gain or win: as, the loss of a prize or battle.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Defeat; overthrow; ruin.
  • noun Lack; want.
  • noun The state of being at fault; the state of having lost the trail and scent of game.
  • noun At such a price as to lose or incur loss.
  • noun To sustain a loss with spirit or fortitude.
  • noun 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.
  • noun See loess.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of losing; failure; destruction; privation
  • noun The state of losing or having lost; the privation, defect, misfortune, harm, etc., which ensues from losing.
  • noun That which is lost or from which one has parted; waste; -- opposed to gain or increase.
  • noun The state of being lost or destroyed; especially, the wreck or foundering of a ship or other vessel.
  • noun Failure to gain or win.
  • noun Failure to use advantageously.
  • noun (Mil.) Killed, wounded, and captured persons, or captured property.
  • noun (Insurance) 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.
  • noun to make a loss good; also, to sustain a loss without sinking under it.
  • noun to be in a state of uncertainty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Middle English los, from Old English; see lose.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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"


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