miss

1 of 4

verb

missed; missing; misses

transitive verb

1
: to fail to hit, reach, or contact
miss the target
2
: to fail to perform or attend
had to miss school for a week
3
: to leave out : omit
in such a hurry that he missed his breakfast
4
: to discover or feel the absence of
missed his wallet as soon as he entered the store
5
: to fail to comprehend, sense, or experience
missed the point of the speech
6
: escape, avoid
just missed hitting the other car
7
: to fail to obtain
ignorance misses the best things in this life W. R. Inge

intransitive verb

1
: to fail to hit something
took another cut at the ball but missed again
2
a
: to be unsuccessful
such a fine prospect that he can't miss
b
: misfire
the engine missed
3
archaic : to fail to get, reach, or do something
missable adjective

miss

2 of 4

noun (1)

1
a
: a failure to hit
b
: a failure to attain a desired result
2
3
chiefly dialectal : disadvantage or regret resulting from loss
we know the miss of you, and even hunger … to see you Samuel Richardson

miss

3 of 4

noun (2)

1
capitalized
a
used as a title prefixed to the name of an unmarried woman or girl
b
used before the name of a place or of a line of activity or before some epithet to form a title for a usually young unmarried female who is representative of the thing indicated
Miss America
2
: young lady
used without a name as a conventional term of address to a young woman
3
: a young unmarried woman or girl
4
misses plural : a clothing size for women of average height and build

Miss

4 of 4

abbreviation

Phrases
miss a beat
: to deviate from regular smooth performance
the company changed ownership without missing a beat
miss out on
: to lose a good opportunity for
missed out on a better job
miss the boat
: to fail to take advantage of an opportunity

Example Sentences

Verb He swung and missed the ball completely. The shot missed the goal by inches. The batter swung and missed. She took three shots and missed every time. I would hate to miss this opportunity. She could have joined us, but she missed her chance. They missed a payment on their car loan. He was in such a hurry that he missed breakfast. See More

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Old English missan; akin to Old High German missan to miss

Noun (2)

short for mistress

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun (2)

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of miss was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near miss

Cite this Entry

“Miss.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miss. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

miss 1 of 3

verb

1
: to fail to hit, catch, reach, or get
miss a target
miss the ball
2
: escape entry 1 sense 2, avoid
just missed being hurt
3
a
: to leave out : omit
missed their lunch
b
: to fail to attend
missed three days of school
4
: to discover or feel the absence of
missed our old friends
5
: to fail to understand, sense, or experience
missed the main point of the story
6
: misfire sense 1
the engine missed

miss

2 of 3

noun

1
: a failure to reach a desired goal or result
2
: a failure to fire

miss

3 of 3

noun

 sense 1 is  (ˌ)mis,
məs;
 sense 2 is  ˈmis
1
a
used as a title before the name of an unmarried woman or girl
b
used before the name of a place, an activity, an epithet, or a quality to form a title for a girl who represents the thing indicated
Miss AmericaMiss Punctuality
2
: a young woman or girl
used as a term of address
this way, Miss
3
plural : a clothing size for women of average height and build

More from Merriam-Webster on miss

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