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Line breaks: loss
Pronunciation: /lɒs

Definition of loss in English:


[mass noun]
1The fact or process of losing something or someone: avoiding loss of time [count noun]: 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.
deprivation, disappearance, losing, privation, forfeiture, waste, squandering, dissipation;
diminution, erosion, reduction, impoverishment, depletion
1.1An amount of money lost by a business or organization: insurance can protect you against financial loss [count noun]: we have incurred huge losses [in combination]: loss-making industries
1.2The feeling of grief after losing 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 who 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.


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.


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.
2Making less money than is spent buying, operating, or producing something: a railway 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.

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