at a loss for words

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

Unable to speak or articulate a coherent thought. I'm so disappointed that I'm actually at a loss for words.
See also: loss, word

lost for words

Unable to speak or articulate a coherent thought, typically because one is surprised or in shock. When I got the call that my straight-A-student daughter had been arrested for breaking into the school, I was lost for words. When I found out that my coworkers had taken a collection to help pay for my medical bills, I was lost for words.
See also: lost, word
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