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

  • transitive v. To fail to hit, reach, catch, meet, or otherwise make contact with.
  • transitive v. To fail to perceive, understand, or experience: completely missed the point of the film.
  • transitive v. To fail to accomplish, achieve, or attain (a goal).
  • transitive v. To fail to attend or perform: never missed a day of work.
  • transitive v. To leave out; omit.
  • transitive v. To let go by; let slip: miss a chance.
  • transitive v. To escape or avoid: narrowly missed crashing into the tree.
  • transitive v. To discover the absence or loss of: I missed my book after getting off the bus.
  • transitive v. To feel the lack or loss of: Do you miss your family?
  • intransitive v. To fail to hit or otherwise make contact with something: fired the final shot and missed again.
  • intransitive v. To be unsuccessful; fail.
  • intransitive v. To misfire, as an internal-combustion engine.
  • n. A failure to hit, succeed, or find.
  • n. The misfiring of an engine.
  • idiom miss fire To fail to discharge. Used of a firearm.
  • idiom miss fire To fail to achieve the anticipated result.
  • idiom miss out on To lose a chance for: missed out on the promotion.
  • idiom miss the boat Informal To fail to avail oneself of an opportunity.
  • idiom miss the boat Informal To fail to understand.
  • n. Used as a courtesy title before the surname or full name of a girl or single woman. See Usage Note at Ms.
  • n. Used as a form of polite address for a girl or young woman: I beg your pardon, miss.
  • n. A young unmarried woman.
  • n. Used in informal titles for a young woman to indicate the epitomizing of an attribute or activity: Miss Organization; Miss Opera.
  • n. A series of clothing sizes for women and girls of average height and proportions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To fail to hit.
  • v. To feel the absence of someone or something, sometimes with regret.
  • v. To fail to understand or have a shortcoming of perception.
  • v. To fail to attend.
  • v. To be late for something (a means of transportation, a deadline etc).
  • v. To fail to score (a goal).
  • n. A failure to hit.
  • n. A failure to obtain or accomplish.
  • n. An act of avoidance.
  • n. A title of respect for a young woman (usually unmarried) with or without a name used.
  • n. An unmarried woman; a girl.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A title of courtesy prefixed to the name of a girl or a woman who has not been married. See mistress, 5.
  • n. A young unmarried woman or a girl.
  • n. A kept mistress. See Mistress, 4.
  • n. In the game of three-card loo, an extra hand, dealt on the table, which may be substituted for the hand dealt to a player.
  • n. The act of missing; failure to hit, reach, find, obtain, etc.
  • n. Loss; want; felt absence.
  • n. Mistake; error; fault.
  • n. Harm from mistake.
  • intransitive v. To fail to hit; to fly wide; to deviate from the true direction.
  • intransitive v. To fail to obtain, learn, or find; -- with of.
  • intransitive v. To go wrong; to err.
  • intransitive v. To be absent, deficient, or wanting.
  • transitive v. To fail of hitting, reaching, getting, finding, seeing, hearing, etc.
  • transitive v. To omit; to fail to have or to do; to get without; to dispense with; -- now seldom applied to persons.
  • transitive v. To discover the absence or omission of; to feel the want of; to mourn the loss of; to want.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To fail to reach or attain; come short of, or go aside or deviate from, as what is aimed at, expected, or desired; fail to hit, catch, or grasp: as, to miss the mark.
  • To fail or come short of, as from lack of capacity or opportunity; fail to be, find, attain to, or accomplish (what one might or should have been, found, attained to, or accomplished): as, he just missed being a poet; you have missed your true vocation.
  • To fail to find, get, or keep; come short of having or receiving; fail to obtain or enjoy: as, to miss the way or one's footing; to miss a meal or an appointment.
  • To become aware of the loss or absence of; find to be lacking; note or deplore the absence of; feel the want or need of: as, to miss one's watch or purse; to miss the comforts of home; to miss the prattle of a child.
  • To fail to note, perceive, or observe; overlook or disregard: as, to miss the best points of a play.
  • To escape; succeed in avoiding.
  • To omit; leave out; skip, as a word in reciting or a note in singing.
  • To do without; dispense with; spare.
  • To lack; be deprived of.
  • To fail of success or effect; miscarry; fail to hit the mark, as in shooting, playing certain games, etc.
  • To fall short; fail in observation or attainment: with of or in.
  • To go astray; go wrong; slip; fall.
  • Wrongly; badly; amiss.
  • n. A failure to find, reach, catch, hit, grasp, obtain, or attain; want of success.
  • n. Error; fault; misdeed; wrong-doing; sin.
  • n. Hurt or harm from mistake or accident.
  • n. Loss; want; hence, a feeling of loss.
  • n. Specifically, in printing, a failure on the part of the person feeding the blank sheets to a press to supply a sheet at the right moment for impression.
  • n. In the game of loo, an extra hand dealt out, for which the players in turn have the option of exchanging their own.
  • n. Mistress: a reduced form of this title, which, so reduced, came to be regarded, when prefixed to the name of a young woman or girl, as a sort of diminutive, and was especially applied to young girls (corresponding to master as applied to young boys), older unmarried girls or women being styled mistress even in the lifetime of the mother; later, and in present use, a title prefixed to the name of any unmarried woman or girl.
  • n. A young unmarried woman; a girl, in this sense chiefly colloquial; in trade use it has reference to sizes, etc.: as, ladies', misses', and children's shoes.
  • n. A mistress (of a household). [Southern U. S., in negro use.] [In this use a direct abbr. of mistress in the same sense—a slang use, independent of the above.] A kept mistress.
  • n. An abbreviation
  • n. of Mississippi;
  • n. of mission, missionary.

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

  • v. be absent
  • v. fail to attend an event or activity
  • n. a young woman
  • v. fail to reach
  • n. a form of address for an unmarried woman
  • v. fail to perceive or to catch with the senses or the mind
  • v. fail to reach or get to
  • v. feel or suffer from the lack of
  • n. a failure to hit (or meet or find etc)
  • v. leave undone or leave out
  • v. fail to experience
  • v. be without


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

Middle English missen, from Old English missan; see mei-1 in Indo-European roots.
Short for mistress.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English missen, from Old English missan ("to miss, escape the notice of a person"), Proto-Germanic *missijanan (“to miss, go wrong, fail”), from Proto-Indo-European *meit- (“to change, exchange, trade”). Cognate with North Frisian missen ("to miss"), Dutch missen ("to miss"), German vermissen ("to do without, miss"), Swedish missa ("to miss"), Icelandic missa ("to lose").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From mistress.



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  • It may be weird and/or pathetic, but it's true. Same goes for me when I'm torn from the keyboard. :-)

    December 2, 2009

  • We miss you too bearness.

    November 30, 2009

  • Is it weird, or just pathetic, that I miss my fellow Wordies so much now that I haven't had time to hang out on the site?

    November 30, 2009

  • mouse, mice, MEESE. Got it! Thanks.

    August 17, 2008

  • frogappl: well, the "i" is pronounced in the Continental fashion (like the "i" in "machine"), so the word sounds pretty much like the surname of Reagan's attorney general.

    July 29, 2008

  • rolig: Is the pronunciation the same as in English?

    July 29, 2008

  • In Slovene, this English word has made it into the Dictionary of Standard Slovene with the meaning "a woman chosen as the most beautiful at a beauty contest; a beauty queen". Interestingly, it is used not as an honorific but as a noun in its own right. In other words, Slovenes don't say, "Rebeka Dremelj was Miss Slovenia in 2001" but "Rebeka Dremelj was the miss i.e. beauty queen of Slovenia in 2001."

    July 29, 2008