\ 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 notion that government is here to provide infrastructure and support for its citizenry is absurd and lost to the history books. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: Another tax increase? I’m done!," 11 Aug. 2019 In Barcelona, when Wyckoff became lost and couldn't find her way home, two strangers escorted her to her hotel. Sheeka Sanahori, USA TODAY, "Traveler's epic Europe trip put wheelchair accessibility to the test," 31 July 2019 Auburn, of course, advanced to the Final Four for the first time last season but lost seniors Horace Spencer and Bryce Brown to graduation. Josh Bean | Jbean@al.com, al.com, "Auburn adds 7th player for basketball signing class," 17 July 2019 But the new Keystone Korner also captures this city’s historic jazz scene, hearkening back to the lost era when Billie Holiday and Ethel Ennis performed at West Baltimore’s various clubs. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Quick bite: At Keystone Korner, jazz and food, reincarnated," 19 June 2019 Reasons employers cited for the layoffs include changing consumer habits, facility closures, changes of ownership and lost government contracts. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "More than 660 South Florida workers laid off," 19 June 2019 To speed the process and reduce waste, Barbe-Nicole developed a rack and a process known as riddling, which consolidated the yeast at the neck of the bottle, allowing it to be removed quickly and easily with much less lost product. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "You Have the Founding Mothers of Champagne to Thank for the Bubbly You Drink Today," 8 Mar. 2019 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

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

17 Aug 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).


marked by turns or indirection

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