Lose vs. Loss — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 21, 2023
Difference Between Lose and Loss
Table of Contents
Lose, primarily, is a verb in the English language. It refers to the act of misplacing something or not winning a game or competition. For example, you might "lose" your keys or "lose" a soccer match. Loss, on the other hand, is a noun. It stands for the result of losing or the feeling experienced when something or someone is gone. Experiencing a "loss" can be emotional or materialistic.
Lose can also mean failing to maintain a position or status. For instance, one might "lose" their way while navigating a city. Contrarily, Loss signifies the amount or the thing lost. In business, a company might report a "loss" if they spend more than they earn.
In another context, Lose can imply not having something any longer. If you let go of a balloon, you "lose" it to the sky. Whereas, Loss might represent the actual item or opportunity that's gone. A "loss" of a cherished item can be distressing.
Lose sometimes means failing to make use of an opportunity. If you don't utilize a chance, you "lose" it. Meanwhile, Loss in this sense can be the missed opportunity itself. A "loss" of a scholarship opportunity, for example, could be regrettable.
Lastly, to "lose" oneself means to become engrossed in something, often forgetting everything else. In contrast, Loss can be the state of being deprived or lacking something. Experiencing a "loss" of identity can be a profound emotional experience.
Part of Speech
To misplace or not win
Act of losing or something that's lost
I might lose my glasses.
The loss of his glasses upset him.
Action of misplacing or failing
Outcome or result of the action
To feel defeat
Feeling or experience of being deprived
Compare with Definitions
To misplace an item.
I always seem to lose my socks in the laundry.
The feeling of grief after losing someone or something.
The loss of her grandmother was tough on her.
To fail to win a game or contest.
The team did not want to lose the championship.
A disadvantage resulting from an event.
Not studying resulted in a loss of knowledge.
To be unsuccessful in retaining possession of; mislay
He's always losing his car keys.
A thing that is lost.
His biggest loss was his precious watch.
To be deprived of (something one has had)
Lost her art collection in the fire.
Lost her job.
The act or an instance of losing
Nine losses during the football season.
To be left alone or desolate because of the death of
Lost his wife.
One that is lost
Wrote their flooded house off as a loss.
To be unable to keep alive
A doctor who has lost very few patients.
The condition of being deprived or bereaved of something or someone
Her loss was made easier by the support of her friends.
To be unable to keep control or allegiance of
Lost his temper at the meeting.
Is losing supporters by changing his mind.
The amount of something lost
Selling at a 50 percent loss.
To fail to win; fail in
Lost the game.
Lost the court case.
The harm or suffering caused by losing or being lost
The doctor's retirement is a great loss to the community.
To fail to use or take advantage of
Don't lose a chance to improve your position.
Losses People lost in wartime; casualties.
To fail to hear, see, or understand
We lost the plane in the fog. I lost her when she started speaking about thermodynamics.
The war caused incalculable loss.
To let (oneself) become unable to find the way.
(Electricity) The power decrease caused by resistance in a circuit, circuit element, or device.
To remove (oneself), as from everyday reality into a fantasy world.
The amount of a claim on an insurer by an insured.
To rid oneself of
Lost five pounds.
(countable) The result of no longer possessing an object, a function, or a characteristic due to external causes or misplacement.
Loss of limb; weight loss; loss of cognitive functions; loss of appetite.
To consume aimlessly; waste
Lost a week in idle occupations.
(uncountable) The destruction or ruin of an object.
To wander from or become ignorant of
Lose one's way.
(countable) Something that has been destroyed or ruined.
It was a terrible crash; both cars were total losses.
To elude or outdistance
Lost their pursuers.
(countable) Defeat; an instance of being defeated.
The match ended in their first loss of the season.
To be outdistanced by
Chased the thieves but lost them.
(countable) The death of a person or animal.
We mourn his loss.
The battle was won, but losses were great.
To become slow by (a specified amount of time). Used of a timepiece.
(uncountable) The condition of grief caused by losing someone or something, especially someone who has died.
Her daughter's sense of loss eventually led to depression.
To cause or result in the loss of
Failure to reply to the advertisement lost her the job.
The sum an entity loses on balance.
The sum of expenditures and taxes minus total income is a loss, when this difference is positive.
To cause to be destroyed. Usually used in the passive
Both planes were lost in the crash.
(engineering) Electricity of kinetic power expended without doing useful work.
The inefficiency of many old-fashioned power plants exceeds 60% loss before the subsequent losses during transport over the grid.
To cause to be damned.
To suffer loss
Investors who lost heavily on the firm's stock.
The act of losing; failure; destruction; privation; as, the loss of property; loss of money by gaming; loss of health or reputation.
Assured loss before the match be played.
To be defeated
Our team lost in overtime.
The state of losing or having lost; the privation, defect, misfortune, harm, etc., which ensues from losing.
Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss.
To operate or run slow. Used of a timepiece.
That which is lost or from which one has parted; waste; - opposed to gain or increase; as, the loss of liquor by leakage was considerable.
(transitive) To cause (something) to cease to be in one's possession or capability due to unfortunate or unknown circumstances, events or reasons.
If you lose that ten-pound note, you'll be sorry.
He lost his hearing in the explosion.
She lost her position when the company was taken over.
The state of being lost or destroyed; especially, the wreck or foundering of a ship or other vessel.
(transitive) To have (an organ) removed from one's body, especially by accident.
Johnny lost a tooth, but kept it for the tooth fairy.
He lost his spleen in a car wreck.
Failure to gain or win; as, loss of a race or battle.
(transitive) To shed (weight).
I’ve lost five pounds this week.
Failure to use advantageously; as, loss of time.
(transitive) To experience the death of (someone to whom one has an attachment, such as a relative or friend).
She lost all her sons in the war.
Killed, wounded, and captured persons, or captured property.
(transitive) To give or owe (money) after losing a bet.
Destruction or diminution of value, if brought about in a manner provided for in the insurance contract (as destruction by fire or wreck, damage by water or smoke), or the death or injury of an insured person; also, the sum paid or payable therefor; as, the losses of the company this year amount to a million of dollars.
To be deprived of access to something.
Users who engage in disruptive behavior may lose their accounts.
The act of losing;
Everyone expected him to win so his loss was a shock
To wander from; to miss, so as not to be able to find; to go astray from.
I lost my way in the forest.
Something that is lost;
The car was a total loss
Loss of livestock left the rancher bankrupt
(transitive) To fail to win (a game, competition, trial, etc).
We lost the football match.
You just lost The Game.
The amount by which the cost of a business exceeds its revenue;
The company operated at a loss last year
The company operated in the red last year
(transitive) To be unable to follow or trace (somebody or something) any longer.
The policeman lost the robber he was chasing.
Mission control lost the satellite as its signal died down.
Gradual decline in amount or activity;
A serious loss of business
(transitive) To cause (somebody) to be unable to follow or trace one any longer.
We managed to lose our pursuers in the forest.
The disadvantage that results from losing something;
His loss of credibility led to his resignation
Losing him is no great deprivation
(transitive) To cease exhibiting; to overcome (a behavior or emotion).
Military personnel lost by death or capture
To shed, remove, discard, or eliminate.
When we get into the building, please lose the hat.
The experience of losing a loved one;
He sympathized on the loss of their grandfather
Of a clock, to run slower than expected.
My watch loses five minutes a week.
It's already 5:30? My watch must have lost a few minutes.
Euphemistic expressions for death;
Thousands mourned his passing
(ditransitive) To cause (someone) the loss of something; to deprive of.
Act of losing.
The loss of his job was unexpected.
To fail to catch with the mind or senses; to miss.
I lost a part of what he said.
The amount by which something is reduced.
There was a significant loss of revenue this quarter.
(obsolete) Fame, renown; praise.
To part with unintentionally or unwillingly, as by accident, misfortune, negligence, penalty, forfeit, etc.; to be deprived of; as, to lose money from one's purse or pocket, or in business or gaming; to lose an arm or a leg by amputation; to lose men in battle.
Fair Venus wept the sad disasterOf having lost her favorite dove.
To cease to have; to possess no longer; to suffer diminution of; as, to lose one's relish for anything; to lose one's health.
If the salt hath lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?
Not to employ; to employ ineffectually; to throw away; to waste; to squander; as, to lose a day; to lose the benefits of instruction.
The unhappy have but hours, and these they lose.
To wander from; to miss, so as not to be able to and; to go astray from; as, to lose one's way.
He hath lost his fellows.
To ruin; to destroy; as destroy; as, the ship was lost on the ledge.
The woman that deliberates is lost.
To be deprived of the view of; to cease to see or know the whereabouts of; as, he lost his companion in the crowd.
Like following life thro' creatures you dissect,You lose it in the moment you detect.
To fail to obtain or enjoy; to fail to gain or win; hence, to fail to catch with the mind or senses; to miss; as, I lost a part of what he said.
He shall in no wise lose his reward.
I fought the battle bravely which I lost,And lost it but to Macedonians.
To cause to part with; to deprive of.
How should you go about to lose him a wife he loves with so much passion?
To prevent from gaining or obtaining.
O false heart! thou hadst almost betrayed me to eternal flames, and lost me this glory.
In the excitement of such a discovery, many scholars lost their heads.
To suffer loss, disadvantage, or defeat; to be worse off, esp. as the result of any kind of contest.
We 'll . . . hear poor roguesTalk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out.
Fail to keep or to maintain; cease to have, either physically or in an abstract sense;
She lost her purse when she left it unattended on her seat
Fail to win;
We lost the battle but we won the war
Suffer the loss of a person through death or removal;
She lost her husband in the war
The couple that wanted to adopt the child lost her when the biological parents claimed her
Place (something) where one cannot find it again;
I misplaced my eyeglasses
Miss from one's possessions; lose sight of;
I've lost my glasses again!
Allow to go out of sight;
The detective lost the man he was shadowing after he had to stop at a red light
Fail to make money in a business; make a loss or fail to profit;
I lost thousands of dollars on that bad investment!
The company turned a loss after the first year
The company has not profited from the merger
Fail to get or obtain;
I lost the opportunity to spend a year abroad
Fail to perceive or to catch with the senses or the mind;
I missed that remark
She missed his point
We lost part of what he said
Be set at a disadvantage;
This author really suffers in translation
To fail to maintain a position or status.
He didn't want to lose his way in the forest.
To be deprived of something.
She didn't want to lose her freedom.
To fail to use an opportunity.
Don't lose this chance to learn.
Can you give an example using Lose?
I don't want to lose my keys again.
How about an example for Loss?
The loss of her cat made her very sad.
What's the antonym for Loss in financial terms?
What part of speech is Lose?
Lose is a verb.
Can you use Lose to talk about feelings?
Yes, like "I feel like I lose myself in music."
Can Loss refer to emotions?
Yes, you can feel a sense of loss after a breakup.
Is it correct to say "I had a lose today"?
No, the correct phrase is "I had a loss today."
Is it "Lose track of time" or "Loss track of time"?
It's "Lose track of time."
And what about Loss?
Loss is a noun.
How do I use Lose when talking about weight?
"I hope to lose ten pounds this year."
Can Loss be used in a positive context?
Yes, like "The loss of bad habits improved his life."
Which word describes the outcome or feeling?
Loss describes the outcome or feeling.
What’s the opposite of Lose?
Win or find, depending on the context.
Which word describes the action, Lose or Loss?
Lose describes the action.
How do you use Loss in a sentence regarding business?
"The company reported a major loss this quarter."
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.