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b : to make (oneself) withdrawn from immediate reality lost herself in daydreaming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

In the 1960s, Merwin moved back to New York, living in Greenwich Village, where his work became more experimental and autobiographical, losing punctuation and other formal elements. Bridget Read, Vogue, "W.S. Merwin, Prize-Winning Poet and Conservationist, Has Died at 91," 15 Mar. 2019 The submarine, lost for nearly 80 years, was found in almost 14,000 feet of water. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Explorers Have Found the Wreckage of the Sunken World War II Aircraft Carrier USS Wasp," 14 Mar. 2019 The feature was also nominated for awards like Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor (Sam Elliott), but lost in those categories. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "A New Version of A Star Is Born Is Coming to Theaters This Friday," 27 Feb. 2019 While her partner Vikram and others try to assimilate into their new home, Hel refuses, and works to establish a museum dedicated to their lost home. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 Feeling gratitude for the retreat, and feeling much empathy for those lost everything from the Camp Fire. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Getting around the Bay Area with Chanell Fletcher," 21 Dec. 2018 In recent weeks, the movement has lost momentum and public support. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, "‘Spreading Like a Poison’: Anti-Semitic Acts Increase in France," 17 Feb. 2019 After a few sessions, Baggett explains, many people lose any feelings of awkwardness or discomfort, making appointments easier. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "How to Actually Have a Successful Teletherapy Appointment," 2 Feb. 2019 In other words, the urban farmers were losing money, at least by traditional accounting measures. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Urban farms could be incredibly efficient—but aren’t yet," 27 Dec. 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

20 Mar 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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