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.