at a loss


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Related to at a loss: roughshod, pale in comparison

at a loss

1. Totally perplexed. I'm at a loss as to how they lost that game after having a five-goal lead. Can anyone decipher what he means? I'm at a loss.
2. Below cost or without profiting. I think the store is going to close soon—it's been selling items at a loss for a long time. Most restaurants operate at a loss for a long time before they start turning a profit.
See also: loss

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.
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

COMMON If you are at a loss, you do not know what to do or say in a particular situation. These women are at a loss to know where to go for help. With over 190 different recipes for more than 100 varieties of pasta, Rosa is never at a loss for something to cook.
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at a ˈloss

(informal) uncertain about what to do or how to do something: We’re at a loss to know what to do with all this food from the party yesterday.I was completely at a loss. I couldn’t understand the instructions.
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