\ ˈlȯst How to pronounce lost (audio) \

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 How to pronounce lostness (audio) \ 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

The remains of an 82-year-old hiker who got lost five months ago in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson have been recovered, the Arizona Daily Star reported. Shaq Davis, azcentral, "Arizona searchers find remains of hiker who dialed for help in February," 10 July 2019 However, by the early 1990s, the movement had lost support because of the brutal tactics used by the Indian police to target young Sikh men as well as the violence of fundamentalist separatists who massacred innocent Hindus and Sikhs. Ali Kazimi, Quartz India, "A Canadian artist is keeping the embers of Sikh separatism alive with false equivalences," 27 June 2019 On Monday, some of the campers looked lost and nervous, holding older siblings’ hands or silently eyeing the unfamiliar staff. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "Camp Courant begins 125th year of free summer camp for Hartford kids," 24 June 2019 In 2010, Sestak defeated Sen. Arlen Specter in the primary but lost to Republican Pat Toomey by two points in the general election. Musadiq Bidar And Adam Brewster, CBS News, "Joe Sestak, former congressman and 3-star admiral, joins 2020 presidential race," 23 June 2019 Although Turkey offers free health care in public hospitals, Xunava worries that attending to her physical needs would mean lost time at work. Rania Abouzeid, National Geographic, "Fleeing Syria, these child refugees become child laborers," 20 June 2019 Thousands lost water access, because the city’s water system relies partly on electrical pumps. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Millions Were Left Without Power in Argentina and Uruguay After an 'Extraordinary' System Failure. How Did it Happen?," 17 June 2019 The majority of municipalities in the Chicago region, including the city itself, lost population last year, according to recently released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, with some others showing no real growth. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "'Population boom' continuing for Oswego and Yorkville," 11 June 2019 It’s hard to fathom how much business was lost to inadequate e-commerce these last few years. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Michaels Offers Fresh Lessons in Perils of Being a Tech Laggard," 6 June 2019

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

20 Jul 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on lost

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lost

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lost

Spanish Central: Translation of lost

Nglish: Translation of lost for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lost for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lost

What made you want to look up lost? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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