verb (used with object), lost, losing.
to come to be without (something in one's possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery: I'm sure I've merely misplaced my hat, not lost it.
to fail inadvertently to retain (something) in such a way that it cannot be immediately recovered: I just lost a dime under this sofa.
to suffer the deprivation of: to lose one's job; to lose one's life.
to be bereaved of by death: to lose a sister.
to fail to keep, preserve, or maintain: to lose one's balance; to lose one's figure.
(of a clock or watch) to run slower by: The watch loses three minutes a day.
to give up; forfeit the possession of: to lose a fortune at the gaming table.
to get rid of: to lose one's fear of the dark; to lose weight.
to bring to destruction or ruin (usually used passively): Ship and crew were lost.
to condemn to hell; damn.
to have slip from sight, hearing, attention, etc.: to lose him in the crowd.
to stray from or become ignorant of (one's way, directions, etc.): to lose one's bearings.
to leave far behind in a pursuit, race, etc.; outstrip: She managed to lose the other runners on the final lap of the race.
to use to no purpose; waste: to lose time in waiting.
to fail to have, get, catch, etc.; miss: to lose a bargain.
to fail to win (a prize, stake, etc.): to lose a bet.
to be defeated in (a game, lawsuit, battle, etc.): He has lost very few cases in his career as a lawyer.
to cause the loss of: The delay lost the battle for them.
to let (oneself) go astray, miss the way, etc.: We lost ourselves in the woods.
to allow (oneself) to become absorbed or engrossed in something and oblivious to all else: I had lost myself in thought.
(of a physician) to fail to preserve the life of (a patient).
(of a woman) to fail to be delivered of (a live baby) because of miscarriage, complications in childbirth, etc.
verb (used without object), lost, losing.
to suffer loss: to lose on a contract.
to suffer defeat or fail to win, as in a contest, race, or game: We played well, but we lost.
to depreciate in effectiveness or in some other essential quality: a classic that loses in translation.
(of a clock, watch, etc.) to run slow.
Verb phrases
lose out, to suffer defeat or loss; fail to obtain something desired: He got through the preliminaries, but lost out in the finals.
lose face. face ( def 51 ).

before 900; Middle English losen, Old English -lēosan; replacing Middle English lesen, itself also reflecting Old English -lēosan; cognate with German verlieren, Gothic fraliusan to lose. See loss

relose, verb (used with object), relost, relosing.

loose, loosen, lose, loss.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lose (luːz)
vb , loses, losing, lost
1.  to part with or come to be without, as through theft, accident, negligence, etc
2.  to fail to keep or maintain: to lose one's balance
3.  to suffer the loss or deprivation of: to lose a parent
4.  to cease to have or possess
5.  to fail to get or make use of: to lose a chance
6.  (also intr) to fail to gain or win (a contest, game, etc): to lose the match
7.  to fail to see, hear, perceive, or understand: I lost the gist of his speech
8.  to waste: to lose money gambling
9.  to wander from so as to be unable to find: to lose one's way
10.  to cause the loss of: his delay lost him the battle
11.  to allow to go astray or out of sight: we lost him in the crowd
12.  (usually passive) to absorb or engross: he was lost in contemplation
13.  (usually passive) to cause the death or destruction of: two men were lost in the attack
14.  to outdistance or elude: he soon lost his pursuers
15.  (intr) to decrease or depreciate in value or effectiveness: poetry always loses in translation
16.  (also intr) (of a timepiece) to run slow (by a specified amount): the clock loses ten minutes every day
17.  (of a physician) to fail to sustain the life of (a patient)
18.  (of a woman) to fail to give birth to (a viable baby), esp as the result of a miscarriage
19.  slang motor racing to lose control of (the car), as on a bend: he lost it going into Woodcote
20.  slang lose it to lose control of oneself or one's temper
[Old English losian to perish; related to Old English -lēosan as in forlēosan to forfeit. Compare loose]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. losian "be lost, perish," from los "destruction, loss," from P.Gmc. *lausa (cf. O.N. los "the breaking up of an army"), from PIE base *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart, untie, separate" (cf. Skt. lunati "cuts, cuts off," lavitram "sickle;" Gk. lyein "to loosen, untie, slacken," lysus "a loosening;"
L. luere "to loose, release, atone for"). Replaced related leosan (a class II strong verb whose pp. loren survives in forlorn and love-lorn), from P.Gmc. *leusanan (cf. O.H.G. virliosan, Ger. verlieren, O.Fris. urliasa, Goth. fraliusan "to lose"). Transitive sense of "to part with accidentally" is from c.1200. Meaning "to be defeated" (in a game, etc.) is from 1530s. To lose (one's) mind "become insane" is attested from c.1500. To lose out "fail" is 1858, Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

lose definition

(MIT) 1. To fail. A program loses when it encounters an exceptional condition or fails to work in the expected manner.
2. To be exceptionally unesthetic or crocky.
3. Of people, to be obnoxious or unusually stupid (as opposed to ignorant).
4. Refers to something that is losing, especially in the phrases "That's a lose!" and "What a lose!"
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with lose, also see get (lose) one's bearings; keep (lose) one's cool; keep (lose) track; win some, lose some. Also see under losing; lost.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
If all else fails, an octopus can lose an arm to escape a predator's grasp and
  regrow it later with no permanent damage.
Because the spicy plants lose more water, they're not able to produce as many
Other times, they haul them to a game ranch to be turned lose and become a
  problem again.
We have no reason to lose faith in the possibilities of the future.
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