\ˈlüz \
lost\ˈlȯst \; losing\ˈlü-ziŋ \

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b : to make (oneself) withdrawn from immediate reality lost herself in daydreaming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

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

The canal has lost half of its capacity, and will cost $350 million to fix. Dale Kasler And Phillip Reese, sacbee, "The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water," 13 July 2018 In sports as in life, France is a nation that traditionally awards points for style, win or lose. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "France, on the Brink of a World Cup Win, Has the Bleus," 13 July 2018 It was also reported that several Giants players said McAdoo has lost some respect in the locker room and players were giving up on the season. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "Ex-Giants Coach Ben McAdoo Talks Division, Rips Offensive Line," 13 July 2018 Monarch populations across the eastern United States have declined more than 80% in the past 20 years and researchers worry they’re at risk for being lost entirely. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "They're beautiful — and in danger. Now, a huge effort focuses on saving monarch butterflies," 13 July 2018 Other major political accounts were also hit by the purge, with President Trump losing 325,038 followers so far, a 0.7-percent decrease. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP candidates caught in a bind on Medicaid," 13 July 2018 Frazier said Thursday, after Orlando lost to Utah 75-70. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Rookie Melvin Frazier Jr. showing defensive grit but unrefined offensive game," 14 July 2018 Several of the children also lost people to the scourge of addiction. Amelia Nierenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "‘It feels nice to be with other people who have been through it:’ At Camp Kangaroo, grieving kids come together to talk, reflect, and play," 14 July 2018 The Doubledays ended up losing to the Lowell Spinners, but Drake won the hearts of everyone in the stands. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "3-year-old boy sings national anthem at minor league baseball game, hits it out of the park," 13 July 2018

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

2 Oct 2018

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



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 \
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 \
lost\ˈlȯst \; 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

What made you want to look up lose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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