If you no longer have something, you experience a loss, like the loss of a favorite sock. When something lessens, or gets smaller, that's also a loss, as in weight loss.

Loss has lots of opposites that help define what it means. It is the opposite of win, gain, found, or earn. You can take a loss in a game or a race or by misplacing or just plain losing something like a cell phone or money. When a business has more expenses than it can cover in sales, that, too, is called a loss. A difficult loss is when a friend, relative, or pet dies.

Definitions of loss

n the act of losing someone or something

“everyone expected him to win so his loss was a shock”
loss due to not showing up
capitulation, fall, surrender
the act of surrendering (usually under agreed conditions)
Type of:
an act that fails

n the experience of losing a loved one

“he sympathized on the loss of their grandfather”
Type of:
an event as apprehended

n euphemistic expressions for death

departure, exit, expiration, going, passing, release
Type of:
death, decease, expiry
the event of dying or departure from life

n something that is lost

“the car was a total loss
loss of livestock left the rancher bankrupt”
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forfeit, forfeiture
something that is lost or surrendered as a penalty;
financial loss
loss of money or decrease in financial value
a loss entailed by giving up or selling something at less than its value
anything lost by wear or waste
default, nonpayment, nonremittal
loss resulting from failure of a debt to be paid
capital loss
the amount by which the purchase price of an asset exceeds the selling price; the loss is realized when the asset is sold
depreciation, wear and tear
decrease in value of an asset due to obsolescence or use
losings, losses
something lost (especially money lost at gambling)
Type of:
transferred possession, transferred property
a possession whose ownership changes or lapses

n military personnel lost by death or capture

personnel casualty
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combat injury, injury, wound
a casualty to military personnel resulting from combat
personnel that are sacrificed (e.g., surrendered or lost in order to gain an objective)
blighty wound
a wound that would cause an English soldier to be sent home from service abroad
flesh wound
a wound that does not damage important internal organs or shatter any bones
Type of:
a decrease of military personnel or equipment

n gradual decline in amount or activity

“weight loss
“a serious loss of business”
loss of hair; the result of removing hair
loss of excess weight (as by dieting); becoming slimmer
falling out of hair
Type of:
decline, diminution
change toward something smaller or lower

n the disadvantage that results from losing something

“his loss of credibility led to his resignation”
Type of:
the quality of having an inferior or less favorable position

n the amount by which the cost of a business exceeds its revenue

“the company operated at a loss last year”
red, red ink
the amount by which the revenue of a business exceeds its cost of operating
paper loss
an unrealized loss on an investment calculated by subtracting the current market price from the investor's cost
a situation in which increased costs cannot be passed on to the customer
Type of:
amount, amount of money, sum, sum of money
a quantity of money

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