Definition of lost generation in US English:

lost generation


  • 1The generation reaching maturity during and just after World War I, a high proportion of whose men were killed during those years.

    • ‘It will augment the literature units in the secondary curriculum that explore the twenties as a study of the lost generation or the American dream.’
    • ‘The stage is the designer's evocation of a World War I blue remembered battlefield, peopled by a ghostly lost generation in sad tin hats and mouldy cloth, their women anonymous wraiths in caps and shrouds.’
    • ‘She made the comment about ‘the lost generation,’ which became the catch phrase used to describe the post World War I characters of The Sun Also Rises.’
    • ‘The Age of Anxiety, the age of the lost generation, was also an age in which modern Fascism and Totalitarianism made their appearance on the historical stage.’
    • ‘Nine million men, from all sides, lost their lives, and they often are referred to as ‘the lost generation.’’
    1. 1.1 An unfulfilled generation coming to maturity during a period of instability.
      • ‘But the new lost generation had also witnessed the irrationality and terror of fascism, the burial of the old order and the nightmare world of alienated man.’
      • ‘The voice is powerful, the melodies wonderful and the songs anthems for a lost generation.’
      • ‘They were a lost generation, and a living reminder to others of what war really meant.’
      • ‘I have seen our lost generation of young people, in hostels for the homeless or out on the streets.’
      • ‘He wanted to bring justice to this lost generation, and also to bring hope for the survivors in this world.’
      • ‘But a number are genuinely interested in politics in a serious manner - and these people I feel particular sorrow for, as they are potentially a lost generation.’
      • ‘In fact, we have proved that they are not a lost generation.’
      • ‘There's a lost generation of youth who had spent their childhood fighting and killing others.’
      • ‘More frightening is the future of a lost generation of our nation's youth.’
      • ‘UNICEF predicts that due to its grave debt burden the country will sustain a lost generation, a weak generation resulting from lack of education and ill health.’
      • ‘His characters aren't quite a lost generation, but they are frequently at a loss trying to cope with the myriad forms of violence that have changed their world and how they view it.’
      • ‘The one thing that ties this young, lost generation together is the hope for a lasting, stable, broad-based government that represents all of the country's many tribes and ethnic groups.’
      • ‘Without a concerted effort at education and concrete action, these children are the lost generation.’
      • ‘There's talk of a lost generation as children drop out of school.’
      • ‘Along with the stolen generations, does Australia have a lost generation?’


Phrase applied by Gertrude Stein to disillusioned young American writers, such as Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, and Ezra Pound, who went to live in Paris in the 1920s.