\ ˈlȯst \

Definition of lost 

1 : not made use of, won, or claimed a lost opportunity

2a : no longer possessed a lost reputation

b : no longer known a lost tunnel

3 : ruined or destroyed physically or morally : desperate a lost soul

4a : taken away or beyond reach or attainment : denied regions lost to the faith

b : insensible, hardened lost to shame

5a : unable to find the way

b : no longer visible lost in the crowd

c : lacking assurance or self-confidence : helpless lost without his glasses

6 : rapt, absorbed lost in reverie

7 : not appreciated or understood : wasted their jokes were lost on me

8 : obscured or overlooked during a process or activity lost in translation

9 : hopelessly unattainable : futile a lost cause

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Other words from lost

lostness \ˈlȯs(t)-nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for lost


gone, mislaid, misplaced, missing


owned, possessed, retained

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Examples of lost in a Sentence

He was looking for his lost keys. Many have tried to find the ruins of the lost city. We took a wrong turn and got lost. Hold my hand. I don't want you to get lost. He has been trying to recapture his lost youth. The original music is lost to us forever.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In fact, the saga of the lost Thai boys mirrors uncannily the situation of the thousands of migrant children being held in unspecified detention centers throughout our country. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "The Thai Cave Rescue Cannot Save Us From National Shame," 11 July 2018 But his disclosure form was lost and not forwarded to the entire City Council. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit tax official reprimanded for second job in real estate," 10 July 2018 Nobody in this play is more lost than Ed Devery, a lawyer who’d once been a crusading idealist, before becoming Harry’s hired gun and a drunk. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Born Yesterday' heroine calls her own shots in American Players Theatre remake," 26 June 2018 An exception to this step is when your old phone can serve as a backup in case your primary phone becomes unusable, lost or stolen. Ken Colburn, azcentral, "Don't let them sit: Repurpose, recycle or donate your old cellphone," 14 May 2018 Replacing lost income isn’t the only headache for working parents: Many worry about losing their jobs. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, "Paid family leave: While US lags behind, more states set policies," 12 July 2018 Bradley did well for himself here after a lost season. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "NBA Free Agency 2018: Under-the-Radar Grades," 4 July 2018 The IronBirds are an affiliate of the Orioles and baseball fans know there’s been nothing cheer about in what quickly became a lost season for the big league club. The Aegis, "Hope springs eternal [Editorial]," 13 June 2018 Going forward: The Spurs’ biggest question mark heading into an offseason full of them, after a lost season saw the two-time All-Star miss all but nine games to injury. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "A look at what to expect this offseason from the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and others," 28 Apr. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lost

past participle of lose

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Statistics for lost

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lost

The first known use of lost was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for lost



English Language Learners Definition of lost

: unable to be found

: not knowing where you are or how to get to where you want to go : unable to find your way

: no longer held, owned, or possessed



Kids Definition of lost

1 : unable to find the way a lost puppy

2 : unable to be found lost luggage

3 : not used, won, or claimed a lost opportunity

4 : no longer possessed or known a lost art long lost cousins

5 : fully occupied lost in thought

6 : not capable of succeeding a lost cause



Legal Definition of lost 

1 : not made use of, won, or claimed lost opportunity costs

2 : unintentionally gone out of or missing from one's possession or control

3 : ruined or destroyed physically also : in an unknown physical condition or location a lost ship

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Comments on lost

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to make amends

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