loss

noun
\ ˈlȯs How to pronounce loss (audio) \

Definition of loss

1 : destruction, ruin to save the world from utter loss— John Milton
2a : the act of losing possession : deprivation loss of sight
b : the harm or privation resulting from loss or separation bore up bravely under the loss of both parents
c : an instance of losing His death was a loss to all who knew him.
3 : a person or thing or an amount that is lost: such as
a losses plural : killed, wounded, or captured soldiers His regiment suffered terrible losses.
b : the power diminution of a circuit (see circuit entry 1 sense 4a) or circuit element corresponding to conversion of electrical energy into heat by resistance (see resistance entry 1 sense 4a)
4a : failure to gain, win, obtain, or utilize loss of a game
b : an amount by which the cost of something exceeds its selling price The railroad claimed to be operating at a loss.
5 : decrease in amount, magnitude, or degree a loss in altitude
6 : the amount of an insured's financial detriment by death or damage that the insurer is liable for
at a loss
1 : uncertain as to how to proceed was at a loss to explain the discrepancy
2 : unable to produce what is needed at a loss for words
for a loss
: into a state of distress events had thrown him for a loss

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Synonyms & Antonyms for loss

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of loss in a Sentence

The storm caused widespread loss of electricity. The company's losses for the year were higher than expected. A careless error resulted in the loss of the game. The team suffered a 3–2 loss in the last game. The team has an equal number of wins and losses. the party's losses in the recent election
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Recent Examples on the Web Locks, who did not respond to messages seeking comment, was a significant loss for the museum, a rising Asian-American woman in an art world eager to promote more women and people of color. New York Times, "Amid Signs of Trouble, Can MOCA Find Its Footing?," 2 May 2021 The vehicle was a total loss, and the stone wall sustained minor damage. BostonGlobe.com, "65-year-old woman suffers life-threatening injuries in Cohasset crash," 2 May 2021 Should all of that be ignored simply because the end result was another loss? Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers searching for small victories as late-season collapse continues," 2 May 2021 This could have been the loss of a loved one, a relationship, or your sense of place in the world. Meghan Rose, Glamour, "Virgo Tarot Horoscopes: May 2021," 1 May 2021 This one was a 1-0 loss to expansion Austin FC in which the visitors won its second consecutive of three games played so far. Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune, "Minnesota United's latest loss is 1-0 to MLS expansion team Austin FC," 1 May 2021 The death at age 90 of Michael Collins, command-module pilot for Apollo 11, is the loss of a friend, an unswerving patriot and an intrepid explorer. Buzz Aldrin, WSJ, "To the Moon and Back With Michael Collins, 1930-2021," 30 Apr. 2021 The only blemish on her record is a loss in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks last fall. Steve Bittenbender, The Courier-Journal, "'She does everything so effortlessly': Gamine highlights field in Derby City Distaff," 30 Apr. 2021 While the grounding of the SuperTanker is a loss to the firefighting community, Sanchez said Cal Fire maintains a large firefighting fleet and will still be able to aggressively attack fires. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "World's largest firefighting plane grounded as the West braces for another destructive wildfire season," 28 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'loss.' 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 loss

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for loss

Middle English los, probably back-formation from lost, past participle of losen to lose

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Time Traveler for loss

Time Traveler

The first known use of loss was in the 13th century

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Statistics for loss

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Loss.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loss. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for loss

loss

noun

English Language Learners Definition of loss

: failure to keep or to continue to have something
: the experience of having something taken from you or destroyed
: money that is spent and that is more than the amount earned or received

loss

noun
\ ˈlȯs How to pronounce loss (audio) \

Kids Definition of loss

1 : the act or fact of losing something a loss of courage
2 : harm or distress that comes from losing something or someone We all felt the loss when he left.
3 : something that is lost weight loss
4 : failure to win It was the team's first loss.
at a loss
: unsure of how to proceed

loss

noun

Legal Definition of loss

1 : physical, emotional, or especially economic harm or damage sustained: as
a : decrease in value, capital, or amount — compare gain
b : an amount by which the cost of something (as goods or services) exceeds the selling price — compare profit
c : something unintentionally destroyed or placed beyond recovery
d : the amount of an insured's financial detriment due to the occurrence of a stipulated event (as death, injury, destruction, or damage) in such a manner as to create liability in the insurer under the terms of the policy

Note: As a general rule, economic losses are deductible from adjusted gross income under section 165 of the Internal Revenue Code. There are, however, numerous exceptions and limitations.

actual loss
: the identifiable and calculable monetary detriment that is suffered or will be suffered as a result of an act or event
actual total loss
: a loss in marine insurance in which the property (as a vessel or cargo) cannot be repaired or recovered — compare constructive total loss in this entry
capital loss
: the amount by which the book value of a capital asset exceeds the amount realized from the sale or exchange of the asset
casualty loss
: loss of property as a result of a fire, storm, shipwreck, or other catastrophic event
consequential loss
: a loss that arises as an indirect result of an act or event

called also indirect loss

— compare direct loss in this entry
constructive total loss
: a loss in marine insurance in which the cost of repairing or recovering a ship or its cargo would be more than the ship or cargo is worth — compare actual total loss in this entry
direct loss
: a loss arising directly from an act or event — compare consequential loss in this entry
indirect loss
: consequential loss in this entry
net operating loss
: the amount by which the expenses of operating a business exceed the income derived from it — see also carryback, carryover
ordinary loss
: a loss from the sale or exchange of any asset that is not a capital asset
partial loss
: a loss arising from damage to property that does not render it a total loss
total loss
: a loss arising from damage to property that is so substantial as to make the property valueless to an insured
2 : the act or fact of suffering physical, emotional, or especially economic harm or detriment

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More from Merriam-Webster on loss

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for loss

Nglish: Translation of loss for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of loss for Arabic Speakers

Comments on loss

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