Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to loss: Deadweight loss, Lossa

loss of face

The state or circumstance of having lost the respect of other people, as due to having done something improper or unacceptable. After my terrible loss of face in front of the in-laws, I knew I couldn't return to their home for the foreseeable future.
See also: face, loss, of

write off (one's) losses

1. To record one's financial losses during the accounting process. We've had such a rough third quarter that being able to write off our losses for a tax break is the only upside.
2. By extension, to move on from a situation that has gone badly. I started out as an engineering major, but after failing all of my classes, I decided to write off my losses and switch to communications.
See also: loss, off, write

acceptable damage

 and acceptable losses
Euph. casualties or destruction inflicted by an enemy that is considered minor or tolerable. At present, the enemy's first-strike capability would produce acceptable damage. The general indicated that the fifty thousand casualties were within the range of acceptable losses.
See also: damage

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

cut one's losses

to do something to stop a loss of something. I knew I had to do something to cut my losses, but it was almost too late. Sell some of the high-priced stuff to cut your losses.
See also: cut, loss

dead loss

a total loss. My investment was a dead loss. This car is a dead loss after the accident.
See also: dead, loss

One man's loss is another man's gain.

Prov. When one person loses something, another person gets it. (You can substitute appropriate names or pronouns for the phrases one man's and another man's, as in the second example.) Mike found a five-dollar bill on the sidewalk. "One man's loss is another man's gain," he thought to himself, as he took the money. Jane: Andy just got fired. Jill: I know. And Andy's loss is my gain; I'm getting promoted to his job!
See also: another, gain, loss, one

throw someone for a loss

to cause someone to be uncertain or confused. (Often passive.) The stress of being in front of so many people threw Ann for a loss. She forgot her speech. It was a difficult problem. I was thrown for a loss for an answer.
See also: loss, throw

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 for words

unable to think of something to say lost for words If I was alone with her, I'd feel at a loss for words.
Usage notes: usually this happens because you are surprised
See also: loss, word

cut your losses

to stop wasting time or money on something by ending your connection to it When a project is failing, you've got to learn to cut your losses and move on.
See also: cut, loss

cut your losses

to stop doing something that is already failing in order to reduce the amount of time or money that is being wasted on it I wasn't benefiting from the course and it was costing so much that I thought I'd better cut my losses.
See also: cut, loss

be a dead loss

1. (informal) if something or someone is a dead loss, they disappoint you because they are of bad quality or because they are not able to do what you want them to do The meeting was a dead loss. We didn't come to a single decision. He may have been a great poet, but he was a dead loss as a husband.
2. (informal) to be very bad at a particular activity or subject (sometimes + at ) I was an absolute dead loss at sport when I was at school.
See also: dead, loss

be at a loss

to not know what to do or say (usually + to do sth) He won't accept financial help from me so I'm at a loss to know what to do. For once I found myself completely at a loss for words. (= I did not know what to say)
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

cut one's losses

Withdraw from a losing situation, as in They decided to close down the unprofitable branch and cut their losses. This expression uses cut in the sense of "reduce" (also see cut down, def. 2).
See also: cut, loss

dead loss

1. A total loss, as in They've changed the currency, so these old coins are a dead loss. [Early 1700s]
2. A worthless person or thing; also, an utter waste of time. For example, With an injured knee he's a dead loss to the team, or It rained every day, so our week at the beach was a dead loss. [1920s]
See also: dead, loss

cut one’s losses

tv. to do something to stop a loss of something. I knew I had to do something to cut my losses, but it was almost too late.
See also: cut, loss

cut (one's) losses

To withdraw from a losing situation.
See also: cut, 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
References in periodicals archive ?
They state that the loss corporation must either specifically identify the ownership interest so distributed by the Sec.
The functional currency of the Section 987 QBU will also be a marked item included in the assets for which section 987 gain or loss is determined.
An osmotic/electrolytic alteration caused by hemodialysis can result in (1) a loss of outer hair cells and spiral ganglion in the cochlea, (2) collapse of the endolymphatic space, and (3) edema and atrophy of the specialized auditory cells.
3 (Rentable Area less Usable Area) divided by Rentable Area equals the Loss Factor.
An approach to the management of unintentional weight loss in elderly people.
There are three basic ways primary insurers can obtain catastrophe protection: purchase traditional catastrophe reinsurance, issue catastrophe bonds or purchase an industry loss warranty.
Beyond refuge: Coping with vision and heating loss in later life.
Mutations in some of the genes produce hearing loss alone.
Also, to test the effect of holding time on strontium and boron loss, experiments were carried out on melts held in a 660-lb (300-kg) electric furnace.
It has long been recognized that the incidence and prevalence of vision loss increases with age (National Society to Prevent Blindness, 1980; Nelson, 1987; Kirchner, 1985).
For example, a replacement value policy is the wrong choice for a factory that would be drastically changed after a major casualty loss due to either choice or changes in building and safety codes.
Defective genes can also pass along traits such as hearing loss or speech and language disorders.
As with the loss of a loved one, these realities invoke mourning' and will require grief work for functional adaptations that will lead to continued professional satisfaction.
Meanwhile, the benefit to be made from loss sales has diminished, thanks to cuts in the corporate tax rate that were part of the 1986 Tax Reform Act.
Marks a New Benchmark for the World's Fastest-Growing Weight Loss Program, Which Continues to Expand Its Reach While Helping Millions of Americans Lose Weight and Get Healthy