Definition of loss in English:

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Pronunciation: /lôs/
Pronunciation: /läs/


1The fact or process of losing something or someone: avoiding loss of time funding cuts will lead to job losses
More example sentences
  • The reason for the possible job losses is possible barrack closures at the Garrison.
  • They have admitted the financial crisis could mean more job losses and ward closures.
  • His own school is facing job losses as it is in the process of moving from two forms of entry to one.
mislaying, misplacement, forgetting
deprivation, disappearance, privation, forfeiture, diminution, erosion, reduction, depletion
1.1An amount of money lost by a business or organization: insurance can protect you against financial loss we have incurred huge losses [in combination]: loss-making industries
deficit, debit, debt, indebtedness, deficiency
1.2The state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value: I feel a terrible sense of loss
More example sentences
  • We are all subject to the pain of loss, grief, sadness and even plain disappointment.
  • The large crowds at the funeral ceremonies reflected the sense of loss and grief felt throughout the neighbourhood.
  • You should be careful of people's deeply felt grief and sense of loss before you dismiss them as selfish cynics.
1.3 [in singular] A person or thing that is badly missed when lost: he will be a great loss to many people
More example sentences
  • He is a huge loss for the community and will be greatly missed by his cousins, friends and neighbours.
  • He will be a great loss and will be sadly missed by everybody at the club.
  • He is a great loss to the Trien community and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
1.4 Physics A reduction of power within or among circuits, measured as a ratio of power input to power output.
Example sentences
  • There are other sources of power loss in a transformer, but those are much more complicated.
  • This new method not only reduces voltage and power loss in the switch path, but also lowers the cost and simplifies design.
  • In addition to peak voltage limiting, the circuit can reduce the total circuit loss, including both switching and snubber losses.


at a loss

1Puzzled or uncertain what to think, say, or do: [with infinitive]: she became popular, and was at a loss to know why he was at a loss for words
More example sentences
  • Needless to say I was at a loss for words and thought, is he being his humorous self or is he serious?
  • Then we were at a loss for what to do next till I mentioned bowling.
  • It's an easy, catch all term that you can apply when you're at a loss for words.
baffled, nonplussed, mystified, puzzled, perplexed, bewildered, bemused, at sixes and sevens, confused, dumbfounded, stumped, stuck, blank
informal clueless, flummoxed, bamboozled, fazed, floored, beaten, discombobulated
2Making less money than is spent buying, operating, or producing something: a railroad running at a loss
More example sentences
  • The other was borrowing substantial funds and operating at a loss continuously.
  • One contractor has said he does not intend to operate at a loss and will now re-evaluate his fees.
  • Bookings are falling because the building is in such a poor state, and so the building is operating at a loss.


Old English los 'destruction', of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse los 'breaking up of the ranks of an army' and loose; later probably a back-formation from lost, past participle of lose.

Words that rhyme with loss

across, boss, Bros, cos, cross, crosse, doss, dross, emboss, en brosse, floss, fosse, gloss, Goss, joss, Kos, lacrosse, moss, MS-DOS, Ross

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: loss

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