v. lost, (lôst, lŏst) los·ing, los·es
- To be unsuccessful in retaining possession of; mislay: He's always losing his car keys.
- To be deprived of (something one has had): lost her art collection in the fire; lost her job.
- To be left alone or desolate because of the death of: lost his wife.
- To be unable to keep alive: a doctor who has lost very few patients.
- To be unable to keep control or allegiance of: lost his temper at the meeting; is losing supporters by changing his mind.
- To fail to win; fail in: lost the game; lost the court case.
- To fail to use or take advantage of: Don't lose a chance to improve your position.
- To fail to hear, see, or understand: We lost the plane in the fog. I lost her when she started speaking about thermodynamics.
- To let (oneself) become unable to find the way.
- To remove (oneself), as from everyday reality into a fantasy world.
- To rid oneself of: lost five pounds.
- To consume aimlessly; waste: lost a week in idle occupations.
- To wander from or become ignorant of: lose one's way.
- To elude or outdistance: lost their pursuers.
- To be outdistanced by: chased the thieves but lost them.
- To become slow by (a specified amount of time). Used of a timepiece.
- To cause or result in the loss of: Failure to reply to the advertisement lost her the job.
- To cause to be destroyed. Usually used in the passive: Both planes were lost in the crash.
- To cause to be damned.
- To suffer loss.
- To be defeated.
- To operate or run slow. Used of a timepiece.
- To fail to achieve or receive an expected gain.
lose it Slang
- To lose control; blow up.
- To become deranged or mentally disturbed.
- To become less capable or proficient; decline.
- To miss (an opportunity, for example).
- To operate too slowly. Used of a timepiece.
- To delay advancement.
[Middle English losen, from Old English losian, to perish, from los, loss. See leu- in Indo-European Roots.]
adj. loos·er, loos·est
- Not fastened, restrained, or contained: loose bricks.
- Not taut, fixed, or rigid: a loose anchor line; a loose chair leg.
- Free from confinement or imprisonment; unfettered: criminals loose in the neighborhood; dogs that are loose on the streets.
- Not tight-fitting or tightly fitted: loose shoes.
- Not bound, bundled, stapled, or gathered together: loose papers.
- Not compact or dense in arrangement or structure: loose gravel.
- Lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility; idle: loose talk.
- Not formal; relaxed: a loose atmosphere at the club.
- Lacking conventional moral restraint in sexual behavior.
- Not literal or exact: a loose translation.
- Characterized by a free movement of fluids in the body: a loose cough; loose bowels.
- In a loose manner.
v. loosed, loos·ing, loos·es
- To let loose; release: loosed the dogs.
- To make loose; undo: loosed his belt.
- To cast loose; detach: hikers loosing their packs at camp.
- To let fly; discharge: loosed an arrow.
- To release pressure or obligation from; absolve: loosed her from the responsibility.
- To make less strict; relax: a leader's strong authority that was loosed by easy times.
- To become loose.
- To discharge a missile; fire.
on the loose
- At large; free.
- Acting in an uninhibited fashion.
[Middle English louse, los, from Old Norse lauss. See leu- in Indo-European Roots.]