Thursday, May 26, 2005

Today's Lesson: Lose and Loose

v. lost, (lôst, lŏst) los·ing, los·es
v. tr.

  1. To be unsuccessful in retaining possession of; mislay: He's always losing his car keys.
    1. To be deprived of (something one has had): lost her art collection in the fire; lost her job.
    2. To be left alone or desolate because of the death of: lost his wife.
    3. To be unable to keep alive: a doctor who has lost very few patients.
  2. To be unable to keep control or allegiance of: lost his temper at the meeting; is losing supporters by changing his mind.
  3. To fail to win; fail in: lost the game; lost the court case.
  4. To fail to use or take advantage of: Don't lose a chance to improve your position.
  5. To fail to hear, see, or understand: We lost the plane in the fog. I lost her when she started speaking about thermodynamics.
    1. To let (oneself) become unable to find the way.
    2. To remove (oneself), as from everyday reality into a fantasy world.
  6. To rid oneself of: lost five pounds.
  7. To consume aimlessly; waste: lost a week in idle occupations.
  8. To wander from or become ignorant of: lose one's way.
    1. To elude or outdistance: lost their pursuers.
    2. To be outdistanced by: chased the thieves but lost them.
  9. To become slow by (a specified amount of time). Used of a timepiece.
  10. To cause or result in the loss of: Failure to reply to the advertisement lost her the job.
  11. To cause to be destroyed. Usually used in the passive: Both planes were lost in the crash.
  12. To cause to be damned.

v. intr.
  1. To suffer loss.
  2. To be defeated.
  3. To operate or run slow. Used of a timepiece.

Phrasal Verb:
lose out
To fail to achieve or receive an expected gain.

lose it Slang
  1. To lose control; blow up.
  2. To become deranged or mentally disturbed.
  3. To become less capable or proficient; decline.
lose out on
To miss (an opportunity, for example).
lose time
  1. To operate too slowly. Used of a timepiece.
  2. 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
  1. Not fastened, restrained, or contained: loose bricks.
  2. Not taut, fixed, or rigid: a loose anchor line; a loose chair leg.
  3. Free from confinement or imprisonment; unfettered: criminals loose in the neighborhood; dogs that are loose on the streets.
  4. Not tight-fitting or tightly fitted: loose shoes.
  5. Not bound, bundled, stapled, or gathered together: loose papers.
  6. Not compact or dense in arrangement or structure: loose gravel.
  7. Lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility; idle: loose talk.
  8. Not formal; relaxed: a loose atmosphere at the club.
  9. Lacking conventional moral restraint in sexual behavior.
  10. Not literal or exact: a loose translation.
  11. 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
v. tr.
  1. To let loose; release: loosed the dogs.
  2. To make loose; undo: loosed his belt.
  3. To cast loose; detach: hikers loosing their packs at camp.
  4. To let fly; discharge: loosed an arrow.
  5. To release pressure or obligation from; absolve: loosed her from the responsibility.
  6. To make less strict; relax: a leader's strong authority that was loosed by easy times.

v. intr.
  1. To become loose.
  2. To discharge a missile; fire.

on the loose
  1. At large; free.
  2. Acting in an uninhibited fashion.

[Middle English louse, los, from Old Norse lauss. See leu- in Indo-European Roots.]


  1. Thank you! I will be pointing many people at this every time they write loose instead of lose!