\ 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

Back in 1947, a Bedouin shepherd searching for a lost sheep found a series of caves in the limestone cliffs above the Dead Sea near Qumran. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Unique Salt Coating Helped Preserve 25-Foot-Long Dead Sea Scroll," 9 Sep. 2019 Rivera said subsequent talks with the MVRTA resulted in an agreement for the city to pay the transit authority for the lost fares on the route over the next two years. BostonGlobe.com, "TODAY Free Bus in Lawrence -," 9 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, buyers can simply enjoy the thrill of the chase or are seeking to replace a lost item or heirloom. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Best pawn shops in Houston area, according to Yelp," 9 Sep. 2019 The Bears offense — which their head coach elected not to play at all in the pre-season — managed only three points, failed to run the ball effectively and basically looked lost for most of the game. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "tl;dr: Naperville children shouldn’t know what weed smells like, Starbucks runs out of scones, the Bears embarrass themselves," 6 Sep. 2019 Usually before a season, these women have some idea what the next few months will look like based on the dynamics of the group, but this has left everyone a bit lost. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Andy Cohen Says He's Hopeful Bethenny Frankel 'Will Come Back' to RHONY: 'You Can't Get Out'," 4 Sep. 2019 Delayed and canceled flights, untimely airport power outages, lost bags—the list is endless and frequently updated. Emma Fishman, Bon Appétit, "This Stylish Hotel Soothes My Travel-Weary Soul," 3 Sep. 2019 The payroll tax cuts during the Obama administration reduced taxes by more than $100 billion each year, but the Obama administration directed the lost revenue to Social Security programs, so those initiatives didn't lose money. Damian Paletta, Anchorage Daily News, "White House officials eye payroll tax cut in effort to reverse weakening economy," 20 Aug. 2019 What these gangs did in order to survive in the face of tremendous odds was to rebuild the lost organisation and domestic economy in the new housing-estates. Don Pinnock, Quartz Africa, "Cape Town’s bloody gang violence is deeply rooted in its racist history," 16 Aug. 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

14 Sep 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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