Denotation vs. Connotation


[loo-zer] /ˈlu zər/
a person, team, nation, etc., that loses:
The visiting team was the loser in the series.
  1. a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor or, especially, a felony:
    a two-time loser.
  2. a person who has failed at a particular activity:
    a loser at marriage.
  3. someone or something that is marked by consistently or thoroughly bad quality, performance, etc.:
    Don't bother to see that film, it's a real loser.
Slang. a misfit, especially someone who has never or seldom been successful at a job, personal relationship, etc.
Origin of loser
1300-50; Middle English losere destroyer; see lose, -er1
Related forms
nonloser, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for loser
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And an hour after midnight Clodagh rose from the card-table, a loser to the extent of over forty pounds.

    The Gambler Katherine Cecil Thurston
  • Running a race with that old man in the box which can find a loser first.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • The capitalist will then clearly be a gainer, and the entrepreneur will be a loser.

  • I purpose that you will not be a loser by me, and will make it all that my poor talents can do.

  • She said that Providence would see that she was no loser for the mite she had given to me.

    Gipsy Life George Smith
British Dictionary definitions for loser


a person or thing that loses
a person or thing that seems destined to be taken advantage of, fail, etc: a born loser
(bridge) a card that will not take a trick
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for loser

mid-14c., "a destroyer," agent noun from lose (v.). Sense of "one who suffers loss" is from 1540s; meaning "horse that loses a race" is from 1902; "convicted criminal" is from 1912; "hapless person" is 1955 student slang.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for loser



(also born loser) A person or thing that fails, esp habitually; bust, dud, lemon, nonstarter (1950s+ Students)


: I don't want them to think I'm losered out

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
loser in Technology

An unexpectedly bad situation, program, programmer, or person. Someone who habitually loses. (Even winners can lose occasionally). Someone who knows not and knows not that he knows not. Emphatic forms are "real loser", "total loser", and "complete loser" (but not **"moby loser", which would be a contradiction in terms).
See luser.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with loser


see under finders, keepers
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for loser

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for loser

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for loser