AskDefine | Define lose

Dictionary Definition



1 fail to keep or to maintain; cease to have, either physically or in an abstract sense; "She lost her purse when she left it unattended on her seat" [ant: keep]
2 fail to win; "We lost the battle but we won the war" [ant: win]
3 suffer the loss of a person through death or removal; "She lost her husband in the war"; "The couple that wanted to adopt the child lost her when the biological parents claimed her"
4 place (something) where one cannot find it again; "I misplaced my eyeglasses" [syn: misplace, mislay]
5 miss from one's possessions; lose sight of; "I've lost my glasses again!" [ant: find]
6 allow to go out of sight; "The detective lost the man he was shadowing after he had to stop at a red light"
7 fail to make money in a business; make a loss or fail to profit; "I lost thousands of dollars on that bad investment!"; "The company turned a loss after the first year" [syn: turn a loss] [ant: profit, break even]
8 fail to get or obtain; "I lost the opportunity to spend a year abroad" [ant: acquire]
9 retreat [syn: fall back, drop off, fall behind, recede] [ant: gain]
10 fail to perceive or to catch with the senses or the mind; "I missed that remark"; "She missed his point"; "We lost part of what he said" [syn: miss]
11 be set at a disadvantage; "This author really suffers in translation" [syn: suffer] [also: lost]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Lose





  • , /luːz/, /lu:z/
  • Rhymes with: -uːz



  1. To cause (something) to cease to be in one's possession or capability due to unfortunate or unknown circumstances, events or reasons.
    I lost the ten pound note. I must have dropped it.
    He lost his hearing in the explosion.
    She lost her position when the company was taken over.
  2. To fail to win (a game, competition, trial, etc). Often followed by out
    We lost the match.
    We lost out to Sweden in the final.
  3. To shed (weight); to reduce.
    I’ve lost five pounds this week.
  4. To have (a relative or friend) die.
    She lost all her sons in the war.
  5. To be unable to follow or trace (somebody or something) any longer.
    The policeman lost the robber he was chasing.
    Mission control lost the satellite as its signal died down.
  6. To shed, remove, discard, or eliminate.
    When we get into the building, please lose the hat.
  7. To fail to be the winner.
    Did you win this time? - No, I lost again.

Usage notes

  • Do not confuse lose with loose.


  • (cause to cease to be in one's possession): leave behind, mislay
  • (fail to win (something)):
  • (shed (weight)): drop, shed
  • (have (somebody of one's kin) die):
  • (be unable to follow or trace (somebody or something) any longer):
  • (shed, remove, discard, eliminate): ditch, drop, dump, get rid of, jettison
  • (fail to win (intransitive)):
  • (last):



cause (something) to cease to be in one's possession or capability
(transitive) fail to win
shed (weight)
have (somebody of one's kin) die
be unable to follow or trace (somebody or something) any longer
informal: shed, remove, discard, eliminate
fail to be the winner





  • IPA: /ˈloːzə/



Extensive Definition

Loss may refer to:
A negative difference between retail price and cost of production
  • An event in which the team or individual in question did not win.
  • Loss (baseball), a pitching statistic in baseball
  • Attenuation, a reduction in amplitude and intensity of a signal
  • In telecommunications, loss is a decrease in signal in a communications system:
    • Angular misalignment loss, power loss caused by the deviation from optimum angular alignment
    • Bridging loss, the loss that results when an impedance is connected across a transmission line
    • Coupling loss, the loss that occurs when energy is transferred from one circuit, optical device, or medium to another
    • Insertion loss, the decrease in transmitted signal power resulting from the insertion of a device in a transmission line or optical fiber
    • Path loss, the attenuation undergone by an electromagnetic wave in transit from a transmitter to a receiver
      • Free-space path loss, the loss in signal strength that would result if all influences were sufficiently removed having no effect on its propagation
    • Reflection loss, a loss which causes energy to be reflected back toward its source
    • Return loss, the ratio of the amplitude of the reflected wave to the amplitude of the incident wave
In the arts:

See also

lose in German: Verlust
lose in Spanish: Loser
lose in French: Perte
lose in Ido: Perdajo

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

be bereaved of, be found wanting, be unsuccessful, bereave, bite the dust, bow, bow to, capitulate, clear, come to grief, consume, decline, default, disinherit, displace, dispossess, dissipate, divest, draw a blank, drop, elude, escape, evade, exhaust, expend, fail, fail of success, fall, flunk, flunk out, forfeit, forget, fritter away, give the slip, give up, go astray from, go bankrupt, go down, go under, have enough, incur loss, kiss good-bye, labor in vain, let slip, lick the dust, lose out, lose sight of, lose the day, mislay, misplace, miss, not come off, not pass, not remember, not work, oust, part with, relinquish, rid, rob, sacrifice, say uncle, shake off, slip, spend, spill, squander, succumb, suffer loss, surrender, take the count, throw off, trifle away, tumble, unburden, undergo privation, use up, wander from, waste, yield
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