lose out

Idioms & Phrases

lose out

  1. Fail to succeed, be defeated, as in The election's over, and you've lost out. [Mid-1800s]

  2. Also, lose out on or in. Miss an opportunity to participate, as in We came so late that we lost out on our chance to see her dance, or The Republicans lost out in last fall's elections. [Colloquial; mid-1900s] Also see miss out on.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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