loses; lost/ˈlɑːst/; losing loses; lost/ˈlɑːst/; losing
Learner's definition of LOSE
1 [+ object] : to be unable to find (something or someone)
She's always losing her gloves.
Don't lose your keys.
Hold my hand: I don't want to lose you.
The police lost him in the crowd. [=the police were no longer able to find/see him after he went into the crowd]
The airline lost my luggage. [=my luggage did not arrive at the airport I flew into]
He lost the fly ball in the sun. [=he was unable to see the fly ball because he was looking toward the sun]
The letter was lost in the mail. [=it was sent but never delivered to the person it was addressed to]
2 : to fail to win (a game, contest, etc.)
lose a battle/game
She lost her bid for reelection. [=she failed to win the election; she was not reelected]
We lost the game by a score of 4–2.
He lost his title in the rematch.
She lost the lawsuit.
The team lost three games but won the next four.
— often + to
The team lost in the finals.
an athlete known for losing with grace
That horse always loses.
He hates to lose when money is involved.
How could she play that well and still lose?
3 a [+ object] : to fail to keep or hold (something wanted or valued)
lose an advantage
The country lost its independence 50 years ago.
The mayor is losing power/influence/support.
He is in danger of losing control of the company.
She lost control of the car and skidded off the road.
I was so angry that I lost control (of myself, of my temper) and yelled at them.
She didn't lose her job but she lost access to all confidential company materials.
The senator lost votes when he angered some of his supporters.
The religious community was losing its younger members.
He hasn't lost his sense of humor.
They had lost all hope of winning the title.
I don't want anything to eat. I've lost my appetite. [=I no longer feel hungry]
She began to lose confidence in herself. [=to feel less confident]
Try not to lose patience with the children.
The accident victim was rapidly losing blood.
I'm sorry I'm late. I lost track of the time. [=I failed to stay aware of the time; I did not realize that so much time had passed]
She lost her balance [=failed to keep her weight spread equally] and fell.
c : to fail to earn or keep (money)
◊ If you have nothing (else/left) to lose, you cannot make a situation worse by taking a risk. If you have a lot to lose or have too much to lose, you could make your situation much worse by taking a risk or doing something.
You might as well apply for the job. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Some of them are married and have young children—they have a lot to lose.
I can't quit now. I have too much to lose.
[no object] d [+ object] : to have (something) taken from you or destroyed
e [+ object] : to gradually have less of (something) as time passes
We lost (electrical) power during the storm.
He lost an arm in the war. [=one of his arms was destroyed or so badly injured that it had to be removed]
They lost everything in the fire. [=all their possessions were destroyed in the fire]
He yelled so much during the game that he lost his voice [=he was unable to speak] for two days.
Many people who lose weight by dieting eventually gain the weight back.
She has been losing strength in her legs.
He was gradually losing his eyesight.
He's losing his hair. [=becoming bald]
The public seems to have lost interest in the case.
4 [+ object] : to cause (someone) to fail to win or keep (something) : to cause the loss of (something) for (someone) 5 a : to decrease in (something)
The TV program has lost popularity [=become less popular] in recent years.
The plane was losing altitude.
What will you do if the company's stock loses value when you expect it to gain value?
[no object] b [+ object] : to decrease in value by (a specified amount) c [no object] : to decrease in value when compared to something else
6 a : to experience or suffer the death of (a relative, friend, etc.)
b : to no longer have or be with (someone who leaves)
She lost her husband in the war. [=her husband was killed in the war]
He lost his best friend to cancer. [=his best friend died of cancer]
The country lost thousands of young men in/during the war. = Thousands of young men were lost [=killed] in/during the war. = Thousands of young men lost their lives in/during the war.
She's very sick, and the doctors say they're afraid they're going to lose her. [=they're afraid that she is going to die]
I was sad to hear that she lost the baby. [=that her baby died before being born or soon after being born]
a sailor who was lost at sea [=who died at sea]
7 [+ object] : to fail to keep control of (something)
He lost his temper/cool/composure. [=he became angry]
She wondered if she was losing her mind/sanity. [=becoming insane]
He seems to be losing his nerve. [=becoming afraid]
— see also lose your head at 1head
8 a : to fail to use (something, such as time) : waste
b of a watch or clock : to show a time that is earlier than the correct time : to run slow by (an amount of time)
I don't want to lose this chance/opportunity.
We lost (a good bit of) time in that traffic jam.
She lost no time in getting the project started. [=she got the project started immediately]
We need to get started immediately. There's no time to lose.
9 [+ object] : to explain something in a way that is not clear to (someone) : to confuse (someone)
I'm sorry. You've lost me. [=I don't understand what you're telling me]
I understood the first part of the lecture, but when he started to talk about quantum physics he lost me completely. [=I was completely unable to understand what he was saying]
10 [+ object] : to succeed in getting away from (someone who is following or chasing you) 11 [+ object], informal : to get rid of (something unwanted)
I just can't seem to lose this cold.
Lose the attitude, okay? [=stop having a bad attitude; stop being annoyed, uncooperative, etc.]
You can lose [=remove] that sentence and the paragraph will sound better.
2 : to start behaving in an uncontrolled way because you are angry or upset
lose out[phrasal verb]
: to fail to keep or get something valued or desired — often + on or to
If you don't invest with us, you'll be losing out on a great opportunity! [=you'll be missing/wasting a great opportunity]
She lost out to a better-known actress for the lead role. [=she did not get the lead role because a better-known actress got it]
: to give all of your attention or thought to something