Definition of lost in English:

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Pronunciation: /lôst/
Pronunciation: /läst/
past and past participle of lose.


1Unable to find one’s way; not knowing one’s whereabouts: Help! We’re lost! they got lost in the fog
More example sentences
  • He got lost searching for the computer room, and when he eventually did call me back, the system had already righted itself.
  • Although the team got lost driving up, they were glad they came.
  • A fifth member turned up late, saying he got lost sightseeing, but the other four have not been seen.
off course, off track, disorientated, having lost one's bearings, going around in circles, adrift, at sea, astray
1.1Unable to be found: he turned up with my lost golf clubs
More example sentences
  • Behind the sofa is one of the places in a home where all the lost things end up.
  • I murmured a prayer to St. Anthony to find a lost paper, looked down, and my hand was on it.
  • When he takes the back off to mend it, he finds the lost grand.
missing, mislaid, misplaced, vanished, disappeared, gone missing, gone astray, forgotten, nowhere to be found;
absent, not present, strayed;
irretrievable, unrecoverable
1.2(Of a person) very confused or insecure or in great difficulties: she stood there clutching a drink, feeling completely lost I’d be lost without her
More example sentences
  • At the moment though, I just feel rather lost and disorientated myself.
  • Knowing these people helps to understand why alcohol is such a boon to the lost and the lonely.
  • Tonight, I felt lost beyond anything I have felt the entire time I have been here.
2Denoting something that has been taken away or cannot be recovered: if only one could recapture one’s lost youth!
More example sentences
  • Police are still undertaking further investigations and trying to recover the lost relics.
  • Miserably, in trying to recover his lost childhood Jackson is depriving his own kids of theirs.
  • Smokers who quit will not recover lost lung function, but the rate of decline may revert to that of a non-smoker.
bygone, past, former, one-time, previous, old, olden, departed, vanished, forgotten, consigned to oblivion, extinct, dead, gone
2.1(Of time or an opportunity) not used advantageously; wasted: the decision meant a lost opportunity to create 200 jobs
More example sentences
  • I was crying at the overwhelming sense of lost opportunity, and was probably not very good company in the bar afterwards.
  • The fact he then learnt in a couple of weeks, but simply won't read books today, is an illustration of lost opportunity.
  • Slow and stately movement is compounding the lost opportunities of earlier wasted years.
missed, forfeited, neglected, wasted, squandered, gone by the boards
informal down the drain
2.2Having perished or been destroyed: a memorial to the lost crewmen
More example sentences
  • The shrubbery was symbolic, and one particular tree was planted in memory of the Keller's lost son.
  • Every year the bodies of lost soldiers of World War One (1914-1918) are being unearthed.
  • Participants will place 29 illuminated lanterns -- one for each of the lost crew members -- around the Fitzgerald's original anchor.
extinct, died out, defunct, vanished, gone;
destroyed, wiped out, ruined, wrecked, exterminated, eradicated
3(Of a game or contest) in which a defeat has been sustained: the lost election of 1994
More example sentences
  • The highest magnitude of anything in comparison to death, in my life then, was a lost basketball game.
  • Despite the lost games and the current record, SFU players are not doing so badly.
  • Bulgaria ranks second with the same amount of points but with four lost games.



all is not lost

Used to suggest that there is still some chance of success or recovery.
Example sentences
  • Regardless of what the evidence might suggest, all is not lost.
  • However, in spite of the gloom, government sources yesterday suggested that perhaps all is not lost.
  • Well, it may be a mangled mess, but all is not lost.

be lost for words

Be so surprised, confused, or upset that one cannot think what to say.
Example sentences
  • And then, suddenly, the devastation hit and I simply was lost for words, and I didn't really know what we could do.
  • I was lost for words - it was like a dream to see everyone helping me out.
  • He said: ‘I was lost for words, I didn't envisage it, but it made me feel great.’

be lost on

Fail to influence or be noticed or appreciated by (someone): the significance of his remarks was not lost on Scott
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, the gag was lost on almost everyone she interviewed.
  • Now the art of gambling is lost on most, and I don't claim to be an expert, but there are three common strategies that people will use, with varying success.
  • The logic that it was important for the two countries to stand together now appeared to be lost on no one.

be lost to

Be no longer affected by or accessible to: once a vital member of the community, he is now lost to the world
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, the story of his lying seems to have been lost to all except for the right wing of the blogosphere.
  • The majority of New Zealanders do not speak Maori so the absence of any interpreter meant that the message was lost to so many listeners.
  • His look softened when he realized that I was lost to what he was saying.

get lost

[often in imperative] informal Go away (used as an expression of anger or impatience): Why don’t you leave me alone? Go on, get lost!
More example sentences
  • I motioned the driver to get lost and move on, but he didn't get the picture.
  • They basically told him to get lost as they supposedly had more important stuff to do.
  • Each time I met this shameless fellow, my first instinct was to slap him and tell him to get lost.

give someone up for lost

Stop expecting that a missing person will be found alive.
Example sentences
  • He had searched for her, but eventually had to give her up for lost.
  • If a warrior didn't return for a very, very long time, about ten years, then the family would mourn and give them up for lost.
  • Now, it seems to me that anyone in the USA writing as late as October, ought to be well aware that Amelia Earhart had been given up for lost long before.

make up for lost time

Do something faster or more often in order to compensate for not having done it quickly or often enough before.
Example sentences
  • Whether the partnership can move quickly enough to make up for lost time, however, remains to be seen.
  • My work has taken me away a great deal and I want to make up for lost time whilst I am still hopefully young and fit enough to do so.
  • I guess when you're thrown in with a group of people for a relatively short period of time, you make up for lost time by getting to know each other quickly.

Words that rhyme with lost

accost, cost, frost, Prost, riposte

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lost

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