American English

Definition of loss noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, countable, usually singular] the state of no longer having something or as much of something; the process that leads to this I want to report the loss of a package. loss of blood weight loss The closure of the factory will lead to a number of job losses. When she died I was filled with a sense of loss. loss of earnings (= the money you do not earn because you are prevented from working)
  2. 2[countable] money that has been lost by a business or an organization The company has announced net losses of $1.5 million. We took a loss on (= lost money on) the deal. We are now operating at a loss. opposite profit see also capital loss
  3. 3[countable, uncountable] the death of a person The loss of his wife was a great blow to him. Enemy troops suffered heavy losses. The drought has led to widespread loss of life.
  4. 4[singular] the disadvantage that is caused when someone leaves or when a useful or valuable object is taken away; a person who causes a disadvantage by leaving Her departure is a big loss to the school. She will be a great loss to the school. If he isn't prepared to accept this money, then that's his loss.
  5. 5[countable] a failure to win a contest Brazil's 2–1 loss to Argentina
  6. Idioms not knowing what to say or do His comments left me at a loss for words. I'm at a loss what to do next.
    cut your losses
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    to stop doing something that is not successful before the situation becomes even worse I decided to cut my losses and move back to Florida.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: loss