Pronunciation Verb

lose (loses, present participle losing; past and past participle lost)

  1. (transitive) To cause (something) to cease to be in one's possession or capability due to unfortunate or unknown circumstances, events or reasons.
    If you lose that ten-pound note, you'll be sorry.
    He lost his hearing in the explosion.
    She lost her position when the company was taken over.
    1. (transitive) To have (an organ) removed from one's body, especially by accident.
      Johnny lost a tooth, but kept it for the tooth fairy.
      He lost his spleen in a car wreck.
    2. (transitive) To shed (weight).
      I’ve lost five pounds this week.
    3. (transitive) To experience the death of (someone to whom one has an attachment, such as a relative or friend).
      She lost all her sons in the war.
  2. To wander from; to miss, so as not to be able to find; to go astray from.
    I lost my way in the forest.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene ii]:
      He hath lost his fellows.
  3. (transitive) To fail to win (a game, competition, trial, etc).
    We lost the football match.
    • I fought the battle bravely which I lost, / And lost it but to Macedonians.
  4. (transitive) To be unable to follow or trace (somebody or something) any longer.
    The policeman lost the robber he was chasing.
    Mission control lost the satellite as its signal died down.
  5. (transitive) To cause (somebody) to be unable to follow or trace one any longer.
    We managed to lose our pursuers in the forest.
  6. (transitive) To cease exhibiting; to overcome (a behavior or emotion).
  7. (transitive, informal) To shed, remove, discard, or eliminate.
    When we get into the building, please lose the hat.
  8. Of a clock, to run slower than expected.
    My watch loses five minutes a week.
    It's already 5:30? My watch must have lost a few minutes.
  9. (ditransitive) To cause (someone) the loss of something; to deprive of.
    • O false heart! thou hadst almost betrayed me to eternal flames, and lost me this glory.
    • 2002, Colin Jones (historian), The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, page 556:
      This lost Catholicism […] any semblance of a claim to special status, and also highlighted the gains which other religious formations had derived from the Revolution.
  10. To fail to catch with the mind or senses; to miss.
    I lost a part of what he said.
  11. (transitive, archaic) To cause to part with; to deprive of.
    • How should you go about to lose him a wife he loves with so much passion?