lose

verb
\ ˈlüz How to pronounce lose (audio) \
lost\ ˈlȯst How to pronounce lost (audio) \; losing\ ˈlü-​ziŋ How to pronounce losing (audio) \

Definition of lose

transitive verb

1a : to bring to destruction used chiefly in passive construction the ship was lost on the reef
b : damn if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul — Matthew 16:26 (King James Version)
2 : to miss from one's possession or from a customary or supposed place lost his glove
3 : to suffer deprivation of : part with especially in an unforeseen or accidental manner lost his leg in an auto accident
4a : to suffer loss through the death or removal of or final separation from (a person) lost a son in the war
b : to fail to keep control of orallegiance (see allegiance sense 2) of lose votes lost his temper
5a : to fail to use : let slip by : waste no time to lose
b(1) : to fail to win, gain, or obtain lose a prize lose a contest
(2) : to undergo defeat in lost every battle
c : to fail to catch with the senses or the mind lost what she said
6 : to cause the loss of
7 : to fail to keep, sustain, or maintain lost my balance
8a : to cause to miss one's way or bearings lost himself in the maze of streets
b : to make (oneself) withdrawn from immediate reality lost herself in daydreaming
9a : to wander or go astray from lost his way
b : to draw away from : outstrip lost his pursuers
10 : to fail to keep in sight or in mind lost the thief in the crowded street
11 : to free oneself from : get rid of dieting to lose weight
12 slang : regurgitate, vomit often used in such phrases as lose one's lunch

intransitive verb

1 : to undergo deprivation of something of value investors lost heavily
2 : to undergo defeat lose with good grace
3 of a timepiece : to run slow
lose ground
: to suffer loss or disadvantage : fail to advance or improve
lose it
1 : to fail to maintain a hold on reality also : to go crazy
2 : to become overwhelmed with strong emotion : lose one's composure so angry I almost lost it
lose one's heart
: to fall in love

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Other Words from lose

losable \ ˈlü-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce losable (audio) \ adjective
losableness noun

Synonyms for lose

Synonyms

mislay, misplace

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Examples of lose in a Sentence

She's always losing her gloves. Hold my hand: I don't want to lose you. We lost the game by a score of 4–2. He lost his title in the rematch. The team lost three games but won the next four. The team lost in the finals. an athlete known for losing with grace He hates to lose when money is involved. How could she play that well and still lose? The country lost its independence 50 years ago.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This is, in the most literal sense, a game-losing play: Big Ben’s Elbow: Tough to come up with a worse-case scenario than a non-contact elbow injury for your 37-year-old franchise quarterback. Gary Gramling, SI.com, "Week 2 Takeaways: Josh Allen Owns New York, Cowboys Outclass Another Rival, Big Ben Down," 15 Sep. 2019 On Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues his losing campaign for a potential no-deal Brexit, which could wreak economic havoc. New York Times, "This Week in Business: E-Cigarettes Take a Hit, and Gig Workers Get Good News," 15 Sep. 2019 More and more teams are using committee approaches in the backfield, and paying a running back heavily – or even spending a high draft pick on one – is seen as a losing proposition in the NFL. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson may benefit from Melvin Gordon contract holdout," 13 Sep. 2019 Every win streak that raised hopes was followed by a losing one that dashed them. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Arizona Diamondbacks almost became something more than incredibly average," 13 Sep. 2019 But en route from fresh veggie to crispy chip, vegetables lose nearly all of their water content and gain a good amount of oil. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "I'm Just Gonna Say It: Veggie Chips Are No More or Less Healthy Than Regular Chips," 12 Sep. 2019 Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection often involves some store closures as retailers look to break leases on money-losing stores and slash loans. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Forever 21 could file for bankruptcy protection as early as Sunday, report says," 11 Sep. 2019 The Grizzly Cubs are averaging 52 points a game, but has a 22-game losing streak to Whiteland that dates back to the 2003 season. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Week 4 Indiana high school football predictions: Brownsburg-Avon, Cathedral-Chatard and more," 11 Sep. 2019 The stakes are high for the money-losing venture and backers including SoftBank, its largest investor, which added to its stake in January at a $47 billion valuation. Fortune, "WeWork’s Latest Idea to Save Its Troubled IPO: Major Governance Changes," 11 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lose.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lose

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for lose

Middle English, from Old English losian to perish, lose, from los destruction; akin to Old English lēosan to lose; akin to Old Norse losa to loosen, Latin luere to atone for, Greek lyein to loosen, dissolve, destroy

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Statistics for lose

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lose

The first known use of lose was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for lose

lose

verb

English Language Learners Definition of lose

: to be unable to find (something or someone)
: to fail to win (a game, contest, etc.)
: to fail to keep or hold (something wanted or valued)

lose

verb
\ ˈlüz How to pronounce lose (audio) \
lost\ ˈlȯst \; losing\ ˈlü-​ziŋ \

Kids Definition of lose

1 : to be unable to find or have at hand I lost my keys.
2 : to become deprived of She lost her job.
3 : to become deprived of by death She lost her grandfather.
4 : to fail to use : waste There's no time to lose.
5 : to fail to win They lost the game.
6 : to fail to keep She lost her balance. He lost control.

Other Words from lose

loser noun
\ ˈlüz How to pronounce lose (audio) \
lost\ ˈlȯst How to pronounce lost (audio) \; losing

Medical Definition of lose

1 : to become deprived of or lacking in lose consciousness lost her sense of smell also : to part with in an unforeseen or accidental manner lose a leg in an auto crash
2a : to suffer deprivation through the death or removal of or final separation from (a person) lost a son in the war
b : to fail to keep (a patient) from dying have lost many fewer pneumonia cases since penicillin came into use
3 : to fail to keep, sustain, or maintain lose one's balance
4 : to free oneself from : get rid of dieting to lose weight

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More from Merriam-Webster on lose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lose

Spanish Central: Translation of lose

Nglish: Translation of lose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lose for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lose

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