at a loss


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Related to at a loss: roughshod, pale in comparison

at a loss (for words)

Fig. unable to speak; speechless or befuddled. I was so surprised that I was at a loss for words. Tom was terribly confused—really at a loss.
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at a loss

unable to know how to act or what to do He felt totally at a loss about how to proceed with the making of a dictionary.
See also: loss

at a loss

1. Below cost, as in The store was doing so badly that it was selling merchandise at a loss.
2. Puzzled, perplexed, in a state of uncertainty, as in When his letters were returned unopened, John was at a loss as to what to do next. This usage was originally applied to hounds who had lost the scent or track of their prey. [Mid-1600s]
3. at a loss for words. Unable or uncertain as to what to say. For example, Father's tirade left us all at a loss for words. [Late 1600s]
See also: loss

at a loss

1. Below cost: sold the merchandise at a loss.
2. Perplexed; puzzled: I am at a loss to understand those remarks.
See also: loss