lose - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participlelosing
past tenselost
past participlelost
  1. 1
    [transitive] to stop having something because it has been taken from you or destroyed

    Mike lost his job last year.

    Register now and don’t lose your right to vote.

    The family lost everything when their home burned down.

    lose someone something (=make someone lose something):

    An unreasonably high exchange rate lost them export markets.

    lose something to someone:

    They feared losing the sale to a rival company.

    1. a.
      to stop having someone working for or with you because they have left

      I hope you decide not to accept their offer, because we’ll be sorry to lose you.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to be unable to find someone or something

    I’ve lost my bag. Have you seen it?

    You can easily lose a child in a busy street.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] to not win a race, competition, fight etc

    ‘How did you do in the quiz?’ ‘We lost.’

    lose to/against someone:

    England lost 2–1 to Germany.

    lose by something:

    They lost by only one point.

    lose someone something (=make someone lose something):

    Those comments may well have lost them the election.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to have less of something than before because some of it has gone

    The plane lost cabin pressure and everyone had to use oxygen masks.

    1. a.
      to become thinner and weigh less
      lose 5 pounds/3kg/2 stone etc:

      I lost 3kg when I was ill.

      lose weight:

      He’s lost a lot of weight recently.

  5. 5
    [transitive] if you lose a member of your family or a friend, they die

    She lost her son in a car accident.

  6. 6
    [transitive] if you lose time or an opportunity or chance, you use it up or waste it

    a plan to reduce the amount of working time lost through sickness

    He must realize that an outstanding opportunity has been lost.

    There’s no time to lose (=used for saying that it is necessary to do something as quickly as possible because the situation is urgent).

  7. 7
    [transitive] to no longer have the natural ability to see, hear, remember etc

    He lost his sight in an accident.

    He’d lost his memory as a result of a stroke.

  8. 8
    [transitive] to not have part of your body any longer, for example because of an accident, illness, or age

    He started losing his hair in his late twenties.

  9. 9
    [transitive] to stop having a positive feeling, quality, or attitude

    Jane started to lose interest in her schoolwork.

    Many people have lost faith in the police force.

    We’ve lost all hope of finding him alive.

  10. 10
    [transitive] to make less money than you spend or invest

    The company lost more than £5 million last year.

  11. 11
    [transitive] to manage to escape from someone who is following you
  12. 12
    [transitive] to make someone confused when you are trying to explain something to them

    I’m sorry, you’ve lost me there. Who’s Andrew?

  13. 13
    [transitive] if a clock or watch loses time, it is operating too slowly and shows a time that is earlier than the correct time

phrasal verbs

See also