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b : to make (oneself) withdrawn from immediate reality lost herself in daydreaming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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lose

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

Synonyms for lose

Synonyms

mislay, misplace

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In four days of fighting Mattis didn't lose a single Marine, and his men rolled into Kuwait cheered as liberators. CBS News, "Gen. Jim Mattis on war and Trump," 1 Sep. 2019 The producers lost on having Mary Richards divorced (instead, she had been dumped by her long-time boyfriend). Washington Post, "Valerie Harper broke taboos, stole hearts as TV’s Rhoda," 31 Aug. 2019 The Crimson Tide hasn’t lost to an unranked team since falling to Auburn 17-10 on Nov. 24, 2007. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "SEC Football by the Numbers: Top 10 for Week 1," 31 Aug. 2019 Westminster lost a pair of perennial offensive threats when Veronica Maring and Haleigh Moore graduated back in June. Pat Stoetzer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Fall Sports Previews: 3 things to watch for field hockey in 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 According to the Norwegian journalist Tarjei Svensen, Carlsen hadn’t lost a playoff since 2007. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "Magnus Carlsen Was Defeated, But the Draw Remains Dominant in Chess," 30 Aug. 2019 On the other hand, New York is a 4.5-point underdog which means a gambler betting on the Giants would would need to win, or not lose the game by more than four points for the gambler to win. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Take a look inside a sports book at one of first Indiana casinos to offer wagering on NFL, NCAA, NBA," 30 Aug. 2019 The producers lost on having Mary Richards divorced (instead, she had been dumped by her long-time boyfriend). John Rogers, Anchorage Daily News, "Valerie Harper, TV’s Rhoda, dies at age 80," 30 Aug. 2019 The producers lost on having Mary Richards divorced (instead, she had been dumped by her long-time boyfriend). San Diego Union-Tribune, "Valerie Harper, TV’s Rhoda, has died at 80," 30 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lose

Statistics for lose

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lose

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!