American English

Definition of lose verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they lose
    he / she / it loses
    past simple lost
    -ing form losing
    jump to other results
    not find
  1. 1[transitive] lose something/somebody to be unable to find something or someone synonym mislay I've lost my keys. The tickets seem to have gotten lost. She lost her husband in the crowd.
  2. have something or someone taken away
  3. 2[transitive] lose something/somebody to have something or someone 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).
  4. 3[transitive] lose something (to somebody/something) to have something taken away by someone or 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 understand/hear
  9. 6[transitive] lose something to fail to get, hear, or understand something His words were lost (= could not be heard) in the applause.
  10. 7[transitive] lose somebody (informal) to be no longer understood by someone I'm afraid you've lost me there.
  11. escape
  12. 8[transitive] lose somebody/something to escape from someone or something synonym evade, shake somebodyoff We managed to lose our pursuers in the darkness.
  13. not win
  14. 9[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.
  15. not keep
  16. 10[transitive, intransitive] to fail to keep something you want or need, especially money; to cause someone 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.
  17. time
  18. 11[transitive] lose something to waste time or an opportunity We lost twenty minutes changing a tire. Hurry—there's no time to lose! He lost no time in setting out for his uncle's house.
  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. Idioms
    lose it (informal)
    jump to other results
    to be unable to stop yourself from crying, laughing, etc.; to become crazy Then she just lost it and started screaming.
    Phrasal Verbslose out (on something)lose out to somebody/somethinglose yourself in something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: lose