from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of a communication channel, subject to loss of signal strength
  • adj. of an electricity transmission line, subject to various forms of power loss
  • adj. reducing the amount of information in data.

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

  • adj. characterized by or causing dissipation of energy


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

loss +‎ -y


  • Most codecs also serve as compressors, so they are "lossy" - they reduce the quality of the information in order to make the file smaller.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Hence, compressed formats are also known as lossy formats, since details are lost.

  • JPEG is called a lossy file format, however, because it compresses photos to save disk space.


  • Masking is a compression scheme based on removing the data the represents a low volume sound in an audio signal that would likely be missed by your ears due to other high volume sounds and therefore masking your ability to hear them; the masked data is thrown out and therefore defined as lossy, period.

    HDTV Magazine

  • The ubiquitous MP3 format is what's known as a lossy format, tossing away what the algorithm considered to be unnecessary portions of the audio track in order to compress the file down to a more compact size.


  • This is known as lossy compression, and can result in a loss of quality if a high level of compression is applied.

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  • It could be defensible if one regards the genome when going through duplications as a "lossy" decompression.

    Death of a popular anti-ID argument

  • The higher storage capability, combined with much more efficient codecs standard-def's MPEG-2 is a notoriously 'lossy' and inefficient codec will allow for less noticeable compression, leading to a more pleasing viewing experience.

    Archive 2008-05-04

  • Remember that MPEG-encoding is basically a "lossy" form of compression.


  • MP3s, on the other hand, use a "lossy" compression technique -- they save on space by missing out some of the detail.

    Boing Boing: February 9, 2003 - February 15, 2003 Archives


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  • The opposite of "lossless," at least in terms of compression algorithms for computer images.

    October 1, 2007