Pronunciation: (lôs, los), [key]
1. detriment, disadvantage, or deprivation from failure to keep, have, or get: to bear the loss of a robbery.
2. something that is lost: The painting was the greatest loss from the robbery.
3. an amount or number lost: The loss of life increased each day.
4. the state of being deprived of or of being without something that one has had: the loss of old friends.
5. death, or the fact of being dead: to mourn the loss of a grandparent.
6. the accidental or inadvertent losing of something dropped, misplaced, stolen, etc.: to discover the loss of a document.
7. a losing by defeat; failure to win: the loss of a bet.
8. failure to make good use of something, as time; waste.
9. failure to preserve or maintain: loss of engine speed at high altitudes.
10. destruction or ruin: the loss of a ship by fire.
11. a thing or a number of related things that are lost or destroyed to some extent: Most buildings in the burned district were a total loss.
a. the losing of soldiers by death, capture, etc.
b. Often, losses. the number of soldiers so lost.
13. Insurance.occurrence of an event, as death or damage of property, for which the insurer makes indemnity under the terms of a policy.
14. Elect.a measure of the power lost in a system, as by conversion to heat, expressed as a relation between power input and power output, as the ratio of or difference between the two quantities.
15. at a loss,
a. at less than cost; at a financial loss.
b. in a state of bewilderment or uncertainty; puzzled; perplexed: We are completely at a loss for an answer to the problem.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.