\ 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 constructionthe 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b : to make (oneself) withdrawn from immediate reality lost herself in daydreaming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


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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 Bruce Weinstein was a native New Yorker and aspiring writer who dropped out of culinary school but never lost his love for cooking. M.a.c. Lynch, courant.com, "Love Story: This creative Colebrook couple can’t stop writing cookbooks," 8 Dec. 2019 Polls show that Iraqis have lost trust in religious parties and leaders. The Economist, "System failure Time for Iraq and Lebanon to ditch state-sponsored sectarianism," 7 Dec. 2019 That was a new addition to the show this year where the two losing singers in head-to-head challenges competed one last time against each other. Martha Sorren, Woman's Day, "'The Masked Singer' Season 3 Will Be Back Before You Know It," 7 Dec. 2019 People reports that the company lost $942 million in market value the day after the ad premiered. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Ryan Reynolds Tracked Down the Peloton Girl and Put Her in His New Aviation Gin Commercial," 7 Dec. 2019 After the 25-year-old goalie recorded a shutout in his first NHL start, Florida decided to ride the hot hand, starting him again Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild — a game the Panthers lost 4-2. Wells Dusenbury, sun-sentinel.com, "Sergei Bobrovsky back in net for Panthers for matchup versus former team," 7 Dec. 2019 In an earlier game, Central Florida Christian Academy, which lost all five of its final-four starters from the Class 2A state-championship team, held on to deal Tampa Blake its first loss, 60-56. Buddy Collings, orlandosentinel.com, "Windermere basketball falls to 2-3 with pieces missing; CFCA beats Blake at Breast Cancer Awareness," 7 Dec. 2019 Donna Hopkins has survived breast cancer twice and lost part of her left leg due to an unrelated blood clot. Amy Sinatra Ayres, USA TODAY, "Breast cancer survivor says fitness was key to her recovery," 9 Dec. 2019 Thompson said the man was traveling at high speed and drove the car for about a minute before losing control and crashing in front of the Milwaukee Safety Academy at 6680 N Teutonia Ave. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Milwaukee man dies after crashing in a high-speed chase with police on Milwaukee's north side," 8 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for lose

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lose

Cite this Entry

“Lose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lose. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for lose


How to pronounce lose (audio)

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)


\ 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

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