Other forms: lost; losing; loses

The verb to lose means something has gone missing. Maybe it's your car keys. Maybe it's points in a game. Maybe it's the love of your life. Sorry about that.

You can physically lose something by misplacing it, or you can lose your pride in a competition. You can lose a game, you can lose your library book, you can lose money, you can lose your business, you can lose sight of your child, you can even lose your mind — basically, you can lose just about anything. Losing something is usually not a good thing, unless it's that annoying boyfriend or weight.

Definitions of lose
  1. verb
    fail to keep or to maintain; cease to have, either physically or in an abstract sense
    “She lost her purse when she left it unattended on her seat”
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    hold on, keep
    retain possession of
    hold open, keep, keep open, save
    retain rights to
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    white-out, whiteout
    lose daylight visibility in heavy fog, snow, or rain
    sleep off
    get rid of by sleeping
  2. verb
    suffer the loss of a person through death or removal
    “She lost her husband in the war”
    “The couple that wanted to adopt the child lost her when the biological parents claimed her”
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    type of:
    experience (emotional) pain
  3. verb
    place (something) where one cannot find it again
    synonyms: mislay, misplace
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    type of:
    lay, place, pose, position, put, set
    put into a certain place or abstract location
  4. verb
    miss from one's possessions; lose sight of
    “I've lost my glasses again!”
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    find, regain
    come upon after searching; find the location of something that was missed or lost
    obtain through effort or management
    find, recover, regain, retrieve
    get or find back; recover the use of
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    forget, leave
    leave behind unintentionally
  5. verb
    allow to go out of sight
    “The detective lost the man he was shadowing after he had to stop at a red light”
  6. verb
    fail to perceive or to catch with the senses or the mind
    “We lost part of what he said”
    synonyms: miss
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    look past, fail to notice
  7. verb
    fail to win
    “We lost the battle but we won the war”
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    be the winner in a contest or competition; be victorious
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    go down
    be defeated
    lose (a game)
    remain down, take the count
    be counted out; remain down while the referee counts to ten
    drop one's serve
    lose a game in which one is serving
  8. verb
    fail to get or obtain
    “I lost the opportunity to spend a year abroad”
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    acquire, gain, win
    win something through one's efforts
  9. verb
    fail to make money in a business; make a loss or fail to profit
    “I lost thousands of dollars on that bad investment!”
    synonyms: turn a loss
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    profit, turn a profit
    make a profit; gain money or materially
    break even
    make neither profit nor loss
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  10. verb
    synonyms: drop off, fall back, fall behind, recede
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    advance, gain, gain ground, get ahead, make headway, pull ahead, win
    obtain advantages, such as points, etc.
    type of:
    regress, retrograde, retrogress
    get worse or fall back to a previous condition
  11. verb
    be set at a disadvantage
    synonyms: suffer
    get worse
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    type of:
    decline, worsen
    grow worse




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘lose'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Commonly confused words

lose / loose

Lose sounds like snooze. If you lose something, you don’t have it anymore. Add an “o” and loose rhymes with goose and describes something that’s not attached.

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