Definition of lose verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//luːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//luːz//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they lose
    BrE BrE//luːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//luːz//
    he / she / it loses
    BrE BrE//ˈluːzɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈluːzɪz//
    past simple lost
    BrE BrE//lɒst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//lɔːst//
    , NAmE//lɑːst//
    past participle lost
    BrE BrE//lɒst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//lɔːst//
    , NAmE//lɑːst//
    -ing form losing
    BrE BrE//ˈluːzɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈluːzɪŋ//
    jump to other results
    not find
  1. 1  [transitive] lose something/somebody to be unable to find something/somebody synonym mislay I've lost my keys. The tickets seem to have got lost. She lost her husband in the crowd.
  2. have something/somebody taken away
  3. 2  [transitive] lose something/somebody to have something/somebody taken away from you as a result of an accident, getting old, dying, etc. She lost a leg in a car crash. to lose your hair/teeth (= as a result of getting old) He's lost his job. Some families lost everything (= all they owned) in the flood. They lost both their sons (= they were killed) in the war. The ship was lost at sea (= it sank). Many people lost their lives (= were killed). See related entries: Injuries
  4. 3  [transitive] lose something (to somebody/something) to have something taken away by somebody/something The company has lost a lot of business to its competitors.
  5. 4  [transitive] lose something to have to give up something; to fail to keep something You will lose your deposit if you cancel the order. Sit down or you'll lose your seat.
  6. have less
  7. 5  [transitive] lose something to have less and less of something, especially until you no longer have any of it He lost his nerve at the last minute. She seemed to have lost interest in food. At that moment he lost his balance and fell. I've lost ten pounds since I started this diet. The train was losing speed.
  8. not win
  9. 6  [transitive, intransitive] to be defeated; to fail to win a competition, a court case, an argument, etc. lose something (to somebody) to lose a game/a race/an election/a battle/a war lose to somebody We lost to a stronger team. lose (something) (by something) He lost by less than 100 votes.
  10. not keep
  11. 7  [transitive, intransitive] to fail to keep something you want or need, especially money; to cause somebody to fail to keep something lose something The business is losing money. Poetry always loses something in translation. lose something (on something/by doing something) You have nothing to lose by telling the truth. lose on something/by doing something We lost on that deal. lose somebody something His carelessness lost him the job.
  12. not understand/hear
  13. 8[transitive] lose something to fail to get, hear or understand something His words were lost (= could not be heard) in the applause.
  14. 9[transitive] lose somebody (informal) to be no longer understood by somebody I'm afraid you've lost me there.
  15. escape
  16. 10[transitive] lose somebody/something to escape from somebody/something synonym evade, shake somebodyoff We managed to lose our pursuers in the darkness.
  17. time
  18. 11[transitive] lose something to waste time or an opportunity We lost twenty minutes changing a tyre. Hurry—there's no time to lose! He lost no time in setting out for London.
  19. 12[transitive, intransitive] lose (something) if a watch or clock loses or loses time, it goes too slowly or becomes a particular amount of time behind the correct time This clock loses two minutes a day. opposite gain
  20. Word OriginOld English losian ‘perish, destroy’, also ‘become unable to find’, from los ‘loss’.Extra examples Our company lost out to one that could offer a lower price. The company stands to lose financially if this deal falls through. The visiting side lost to the home team. There was really no shame in losing to Norton at that stage of his career. This is a game that Lazio cannot afford to lose. We cannot afford to lose any more senior members of staff. We lost against Albyn College. We lost by five goals to two. Win or lose, the important thing is to remain calm. You have nothing to lose by telling the truth. He lost the seat by less than 100 votes. He yesterday lost his appeal against a six-month ban. Here, tie it round your neck so you don’t lose it. Hurry— there’s no time to lose. I’ve lost my keys. If your cheque book is lost or stolen inform your bank immediately. Newcastle lost 1–0 in the rematch. She resigned as party leader after they lost the election. So far they haven’t lost a game. The South lost the war. The tickets seem to have got lost. They deserved to lose. We lost a lot of money on that deal. We’ve lost Alfie—is he with you?Idioms
    Most idioms containing lose are at the entries for the nouns and adjectives in the idioms, for example lose your bearings is at bearing. lose it
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    (informal) to be unable to stop yourself from crying, laughing, etc.; to become crazy Then she just lost it and started screaming. See related entries: Describing strange traits
    Phrasal Verbslose out (on something)lose out to somebodylose yourself in something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: lose