Definition of lost in English:



  • past and past participle of lose


  • 1Unable to find one's way; not knowing one's whereabouts.

    ‘Help! We're lost!’
    • ‘Although the team got lost driving up, they were glad they came.’
    • ‘However, evening had come, and he found himself thoroughly lost in the maze of crooked, narrow streets.’
    • ‘Even though the woodlands here are relatively small, it's easy to get lost in them if you don't follow the paths.’
    • ‘So even if you've been before, there's a fair chance you'll get lost or disorientated.’
    • ‘At the end, she decided to stick with the Main Street, so as not to be easily lost.’
    • ‘In a foreign environment things happen and without clear explanation you can get lost very quickly.’
    • ‘At around 5am a lost and disorientated little black and white cat had appeared in their garden.’
    • ‘I remember some of them quite vividly even though they got lost years and years ago.’
    • ‘It's easy to get lost in the old city of Damascus but don't panic: the Syrians are kind and helpful.’
    • ‘Last year the amount of skiable terrain was doubled, so it was inevitable that we would get lost.’
    • ‘But even so, you can still get lost down the trail, and that's the general idea.’
    • ‘But when road users, who were not familiar with the area, took the route, they got lost.’
    • ‘Abraham, who got lost traveling to the city, was also a bit erratic with his driving on the course.’
    • ‘The fire then merged with another started by a lost hiker signaling a helicopter.’
    • ‘I got lost driving back home, ended up on the way to Barking rather than Baker Street.’
    • ‘He got lost searching for the computer room, and when he eventually did call me back, the system had already righted itself.’
    • ‘A fifth member turned up late, saying he got lost sightseeing, but the other four have not been seen.’
    • ‘With very few houses and tourist amenities it is very easy to get lost in these mountains after dark.’
    • ‘It was admittedly a much better walk though being lost as we went away from the main paths and more into proper forest.’
    • ‘You tell me, and I'll try not to get lost again the next time I drive through.’
    stray, astray, off-course, off-track, off the right track, disorientated, disoriented, having lost one's bearings, adrift, going round in circles, at sea
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    1. 1.1 Unable to be found.
      ‘he turned up with my lost golf clubs’
      • ‘A tearful little boy cannot sleep without a lost Teddy bear - which belonged to his baby brother.’
      • ‘It's nice to know that 70 people were actually looking for the lost child, and that they knew that there was one to look for.’
      • ‘If your pet is then lost or stolen, there is a good chance that your pet will be returned to you.’
      • ‘And in total I've probably spent more than a year looking for lost car keys.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In some cases the card is not physically lost, but the critical information is in the possession of a third party.’
      • ‘Your cultural heritage is in critical danger of being lost and forgotten forever.’
      • ‘When he takes the back off to mend it, he finds the lost grand.’
      • ‘When you poke about alongside a canal there are many lost and forgotten relics to be found of the old commercial nature of the place.’
      • ‘When we look hard we find things - lost notes and four-leaf clovers, invisible to less attentive eyes.’
      • ‘Thus, owners seeking to recover their lost pets will often look to the civil law for a remedy.’
      missing, strayed, gone astray, gone missing, mislaid, misplaced, vanished, disappeared, forgotten, nowhere to be found
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    2. 1.2predicative Unable to understand or to cope with a situation.
      ‘she stood there clutching a drink, feeling completely lost’
      ‘I'd be lost without her’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She felt lost, defeated in every aspect of herself.’
      • ‘At the moment though, I just feel rather lost and disorientated myself.’
  • 2That has been taken away or cannot be recovered.

    ‘if only one could recapture one's lost youth’
    • ‘All now turned on the outcome of John's attempt to recover his lost lands.’
    • ‘Back injuries result in millions of hours of lost work time and countless hours of pain for people everywhere.’
    • ‘We made up lost time and arrived at Gare du Nord on time, to be loaded into taxis and driven to our hotel for baths and showers and drinks before dinner.’
    • ‘In his situation I imagined I would feel angry at lost years and frustrated dreams.’
    • ‘It's best not to stare at children too hard these days, but listening to them I found myself in some kind of reverie for my own lost youth.’
    • ‘Miserably, in trying to recover his lost childhood Jackson is depriving his own kids of theirs.’
    • ‘It has also been said that some are trying to recapture lost youth after children have flown the nest.’
    • ‘The black market in the illegal fuel is estimated to cost the Government £450m in lost tax revenue a year.’
    • ‘Older players in the team are jealous of school-boys as they represent their lost youth.’
    • ‘Police are still undertaking further investigations and trying to recover the lost relics.’
    • ‘Any nervousness quickly dissolved as we catch up on lost years.’
    • ‘Is it a longing for lost youth, a remembrance of a time of discovery when emotions were running out of control?’
    • ‘Smokers who quit will not recover lost lung function, but the rate of decline may revert to that of a non-smoker.’
    • ‘Of course, in movies it is not always desirable to recover lost memories.’
    • ‘It will fight the case that you are actually an employee and it will attempt to recover lost revenues.’
    • ‘He will not be paid but he will be recompensed for lost wages.’
    • ‘These remarkably lenient terms will cost the council £273,000 in lost interest.’
    • ‘Bully is a disturbing film and some of its images of a lost and wasted youth are unforgettable.’
    • ‘Other footballers find a way to reintegrate themselves into the sport and recover their lost reputations.’
    • ‘With a regular program of fitness the recovery of lost flexibility and strength will be noticeable.’
    bygone, past, former, one-time, previous, old, olden, departed, vanished, forgotten, unremembered, unrecalled, consigned to oblivion, extinct, dead, lost and gone, lost in time
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    1. 2.1 (of time or an opportunity) not used advantageously; wasted.
      ‘the decision meant a lost opportunity to create 200 jobs’
      • ‘This could have been a lost opportunity for my friend to make a new friend and maybe meet others through him.’
      • ‘It also made them keen to make up for lost opportunity and learn more about where they came from.’
      • ‘One thing is certain; that after the passage of time nothing can be done about the lost opportunity.’
      • ‘The overall feeling I got from these three features was that it was a lost opportunity.’
      • ‘In later years, she made up for this lost time, never missing an opportunity to add to her infamy.’
      • ‘For many in the developing world it has been a decade of lost opportunity.’
      • ‘The orphaned Garden Festival site became a byword in lost opportunity.’
      • ‘The story of the aquaculture industry is one of lost opportunity under this Government.’
      • ‘Has the educational system improved so much that it was worth the lost opportunities?’
      • ‘Over dedication to a certain plan may result in lost opportunity.’
      • ‘This bill is a lost opportunity for young people who need those services.’
      • ‘Slow and stately movement is compounding the lost opportunities of earlier wasted years.’
      • ‘It is going to be a massive era for British sport and for football not to play a part will be a lost opportunity.’
      • ‘The fact he then learnt in a couple of weeks, but simply won't read books today, is an illustration of lost opportunity.’
      • ‘The Central meanwhile were left to bemoan their lost opportunity to strike out.’
      • ‘The link as shown would have fitted very well into the city centre, and one cannot but lament the lost opportunity.’
      • ‘What is really worrying is the lost opportunity with regard to this bill.’
      • ‘The fact that this didn't happen in the first two years was a lost opportunity.’
      • ‘As a result, to varying degrees, they have all suffered years of lost opportunity.’
      • ‘I was crying at the overwhelming sense of lost opportunity, and was probably not very good company in the bar afterwards.’
      missed, forfeited, neglected, wasted, squandered, dissipated, gone by the board
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    2. 2.2 Having died or been destroyed.
      ‘a memorial to the lost crewmen’
      • ‘Last week, the Australian navy took family members of the lost crew members out to the wreck site, where they held a ceremony and dropped wreaths into the water.’
      • ‘Participants will place 29 illuminated lanterns -- one for each of the lost crew members -- around the Fitzgerald's original anchor.’
      • ‘Attending the weekend were some of the survivors, crew members who had left ship before the sinking, relatives of the lost crew members and the captain of the U-Boat responsible.’
      • ‘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.’
      extinct, died out, defunct, vanished, gone, perished
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  • 3(of a game or contest) in which a defeat has been sustained.

    ‘the lost election of 1979’
    • ‘Bulgaria ranks second with the same amount of points but with four lost games.’
    • ‘The highest magnitude of anything in comparison to death, in my life then, was a lost basketball game.’
    • ‘The only thing wrong with him was probably a bombed test or a lost contest or something.’
    • ‘Despite the lost games and the current record, SFU players are not doing so badly.’


  • all is not lost

    • Used to suggest that there is still some chance of success or recovery.

      ‘I know things look grim, but all is not lost’
      • ‘Meanwhile, all is not lost in this dismal scenario.’
      • ‘Fortunately all is not lost - on the landscape front at least.’
      • ‘On the musical side of the Carnival, all is not lost, though.’
      • ‘Just to show that all is not lost as far as civility in Anglo-Saxon politics is concerned, let me tell a fourth story from much more recent times.’
      • ‘However, in spite of the gloom, government sources yesterday suggested that perhaps all is not lost.’
      • ‘However, all is not lost for the field hockey team.’
      • ‘But all is not lost for the pretty singer who is due to give birth today, there are already a number of top record companies knocking on her door.’
      • ‘Regardless of what the evidence might suggest, all is not lost.’
      • ‘Listening to this, made me feel that all is not lost yet.’
      • ‘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.

      ‘never loquacious, Sarah was now totally lost for words’
      • ‘I was lost for words - it was like a dream to see everyone helping me out.’
      • ‘Talking about the contribution of his son, this father was lost for words.’
      • ‘John was lost for words at the prospect of the team facing the all-Ireland final.’
      • ‘He said: ‘I was lost for words, I didn't envisage it, but it made me feel great.’’
      • ‘‘I thought you were lost for words,’ I murmured softly to myself.’
      • ‘'It's the only time I've ever been lost for words,’ he said.’
      • ‘He was lost for words, waving his hands over his head as his mouth opened and closed noiselessly.’
      • ‘For perhaps the only time in their lives, you imagine, both were lost for words.’
      • ‘And then, suddenly, the devastation hit and I simply was lost for words, and I didn't really know what we could do.’
      • ‘I am not known for being lost for words but there was a moment when my mouth fell open and I was silent.’
      marvel, be amazed, be filled with amazement, be filled with admiration, be astonished, be surprised, be awed, stand in awe, be full of wonder, be lost for words, not believe one's ears, not believe one's eyes, not know what to say, be dumbfounded, gape, goggle, gawk
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  • be lost on

    • Fail to be noticed or appreciated by (someone)

      ‘the significance of his remarks was not lost on Scott’
      • ‘Meanings, tones, implications were lost on me.’
      • ‘Their hosts were obviously trying to show off for them, not realizing that their gestures were lost on all but Meredith.’
      • ‘Not surprisingly, such nuances were lost on me and my high school classmates.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The irony of these remarks can scarcely have been lost on the assembled senators.’
      • ‘Judging by the voluminous reaction of a humbled audience, that message was lost on no one in attendance.’
      • ‘It's also a demand that is lost on even the most experienced programmers too often these days.’
      • ‘As such, a great deal of what the film was about was lost on me; I couldn't fully appreciate what was being done.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the gag was lost on almost everyone she interviewed.’
  • get lost

    • informal often in imperativeGo away (used as an expression of anger or impatience)

      ‘Why don't you leave me alone? Go on, get lost!’
      • ‘Then another guy began trying to arrange a date with me, and I told him to get lost.’
      • ‘Each time I met this shameless fellow, my first instinct was to slap him and tell him to get lost.’
      • ‘I motioned the driver to get lost and move on, but he didn't get the picture.’
      • ‘Colin used to be scared at first, but now he just tells Justin to get lost.’
      • ‘They basically told him to get lost as they supposedly had more important stuff to do.’
      • ‘The man must have told him to get lost because the drunk was waving his arms about and shouting obscenities.’
      go away, go, leave, depart, get going, get out, be off with you, shoo
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  • give someone up for lost

    • Stop expecting that a missing person will be found alive.

      ‘their comrades had given them up for lost’
      • ‘Meantime the people in England gave him up for lost, and the hand of the wealthy and beautiful countess became the aim of the greedy courtiers.’
      • ‘Now, after months of searching, she gave him up for lost.’
      • ‘Cherokee searchers were unable to find him and gave him up for lost.’
      • ‘He fell ill, so deathly ill, that the doctors gave him up for lost, and the mullahs prepared to give him the last rites.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They heard me twice and then lost sight of me and gave me up for lost.’
      • ‘For a full hour nothing was seen of him, and every one gave him 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.’
      • ‘He had disappeared into the jungle with an Indian woman and was gone so long, weeks, that the explorer gave him up for lost and was ready to move on when he finally reappeared out of the forest.’
      • ‘He had searched for her, but eventually had to give her up for lost.’
  • 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.

      ‘he may not have travelled much as a young man, but he has now made up for lost time’
      • ‘Dolly and Harry have spent most of the day outside, making up for lost time.’
      • ‘‘It was nice for her to see her friends and I think she's making up for lost time,’ he added.’
      • ‘Between 1900 and 1910, the gallery made up for lost time, buying and accepting gifts of 28 works by women, including oil paintings, water colours, drawing prints and a sculpture.’
      • ‘Whether the partnership can move quickly enough to make up for lost time, however, remains to be seen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She's made up for lost time and hasn't stopped talking since.’
      • ‘And she is now making up for lost time - avidly studying a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings about her progress compiled by her mother.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are now growing at an astonishing rate, making up for lost time and prospering as a result of their low taxes and competitive economies.’
      • ‘In any case, the 23-year-old has certainly been making up for lost time since his arrival.’