Learner's definition of LOSS
1 a : failure to keep or to continue to have something
[noncount]— usually + of
the mayor's loss of support/influence
Surgeons were unable to control the loss of blood in the victim.
Symptoms include insomnia and loss of appetite.
Both accidents were attributed to the drivers' loss of control.
The recession has caused the loss of many jobs.
The accident caused enormous loss of life. [=many people died in the accident]
[singular]— usually + of
[plural] b [noncount] : the experience of having something taken from you or destroyed— usually + of
2 [count] : money that is spent and that is more than the amount earned or received
The company's losses for the year were higher than expected.
profits and losses
They took a loss on the deal. [=the deal cost them money; they lost money on the deal]
The business is operating at a loss. [=the business is spending more money than it is earning]
They sold the property at a (considerable) loss. [=for less than they paid for it]
— see also at a loss (below)
3 : failure to win a game, contest, etc.
The team suffered a 3–2 loss in the last game.
The team has an equal number of wins and losses.
the party's losses in the recent election
4 a : a decrease in something or in the amount of something
b [singular] : a decrease in value by a specified amount
We need to determine the loss in value due to the damage.
The new windows reduce heat loss by 15 percent.
Don't be concerned about the loss of a few pounds. You're still a healthy weight.
Side effects of the treatment include nausea and hair loss.
5 a : the death of a relative, friend, etc.— usually + of b : the experience of having someone leave— usually + of c : a feeling of sadness that you have when someone dies, leaves, etc. 6 [singular] : something that causes harm, sadness, etc., to a group or organization 7 [singular] : something that is completely destroyed
After the flood, the crops were a total loss.
No one was injured in the accident, but the car was a complete loss.
8 losses [plural] : soldiers killed, wounded, or captured in battle 9 [count], American football : the distance the ball is moved away from the goal during a play
at a loss
: not able to decide what should be done or said
— see also loss 2 (above)
at a loss for wordschiefly US
: unable to think of anything to say
cut your losses
: to stop an activity, business, etc., that is failing in order to prevent more losses or damage
it's your loss
◊ People say that something is your loss when you choose not to do something that they think would help you or that you would enjoy.
throw (someone) for a loss
: to cause (someone) to be very amazed, confused, or shocked