lose

verb
\ ˈlüz How to pronounce lose (audio) \
lost\ ˈlȯst How to pronounce lose (audio) \; losing\ ˈlü-​ziŋ How to pronounce lose (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b : to make (oneself) withdrawn from immediate reality lost herself in daydreaming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 lose (audio) \ adjective
losableness noun

Synonyms for lose

Synonyms

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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 That means California will lose one House seat while Texas gains two. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, "Column: California’s sluggish population growth has lost us a congressional seat. That should concern us," 29 Apr. 2021 In 2001, President George W. Bush saw the economy lose 86,000 jobs. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Biden declares "it's good to be back" in speech that highlights ambitious plans," 29 Apr. 2021 Biden understands that the time for passing his agenda could be perilously short given that presidents’ parties historically lose congressional seats in the midterm elections, less than two years away. Jonathan Lemire, Anchorage Daily News, "‘America is rising anew’: Biden urges investment to rebuild pandemic-battered economy," 29 Apr. 2021 Also on Thursday, a global study showed Germany could lose its last Alpine ice caps within the next decade. David Meyer, Fortune, "Climate bombshell: German court tells government it must do more to save future generations from ‘radical abstinence’," 29 Apr. 2021 By contrast, nothing-to-lose teams seize the moment, similar to what the Heat accomplished last season. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Has the toll of the past two seasons caught up to the Heat?," 28 Apr. 2021 Bamber says the analysis shows that if the trend continues, some low-altitude mountain regions will lose their glaciers entirely by the year 2050. Eric Niiler, Wired, "Melting Mountain Glaciers May Not Survive the Century," 28 Apr. 2021 Cincinnati could lose its school resource officers and have fewer cruisers patrolling roads, Hils said. Hannah K. Sparling, The Enquirer, "Issue 3: Will Cincinnati voters demand the city spend $50 million a year on affordable housing?," 28 Apr. 2021 Family Tapestry, which has a state contract for case management and placement of Bexar County’s foster children, could be put on probation, face monetary penalties and possibly lose the contract. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, "'Worst of all situations' - Children's Shelter, Family Tapestry defensive after report," 28 Apr. 2021

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

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lose. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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 lose (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

More from Merriam-Webster on lose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lose

Nglish: Translation of lose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lose for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lose

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