loss

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Related to losses: Hysteresis losses

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

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

be a dead loss

slang To be unsuccessful in a certain area or pursuit. I thought I could reconcile with my mother, but our phone call was a dead loss. My drawing is a mess—I'm a dead loss as an artist. Don't put him on our team, he's a dead loss at basketball!
See also: dead, loss

be at a loss

To be uncertain of how to proceed or what to do or think. Your behavior is absolutely unacceptable. I'm at a loss as to what to do with you. Now that the whole schedule has been rearranged, I'm at a loss.
See also: loss

acceptable damage

Destruction or casualties that are considered reasonable because they happen in the context of a war or military attack. Many would argue that even one lost life should not be considered acceptable damage. The general considered the destruction of the tanks to be acceptable damage since his soldiers returned from the mission alive and uninjured.
See also: acceptable, damage

acceptable losses

Destruction or casualties that are considered reasonable because they happen in the context of a war or military attack. The general considered the destruction of the tanks to be acceptable losses since his soldiers returned from the mission alive and uninjured. Many would argue that any lost lives should not be considered acceptable losses
See also: acceptable, loss

a dead loss

1. One who is unsuccessful in a certain area or pursuit. I thought I could reconcile with my mother, but our phone call was a dead loss. My drawing is a mess—I'm a dead loss as an artist. Don't put him on our team, he's a dead loss at basketball!
2. A complete loss, usually financially. I'm not surprised that venture turned out to be a dead loss—I always thought the owner was a fraud.
See also: dead, loss

cut (one's) losses

To leave a troubling or failing situation before it gets worse. Man, this venture is going nowhere—I think we're better off cutting our losses than agreeing to rent this space for another year.
See also: cut, loss

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

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: acceptable, 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

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

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.
See also: loss

a dead loss

If you describe someone or something as a dead loss, you think that they are completely useless. For them the nearly-new car is a dead loss because it loses value more quickly. I have always been a dead loss at competitive sports and games.
See also: dead, loss

cut your losses

COMMON If you cut your losses, you decide to stop spending time, energy, or money on an activity or situation on which you have already spent a lot without having any success. Competition in the market was so strong, we decided to cut our losses and close the business. Only you can decide if you should push on to the end of your degree or cut your losses and get out.
See also: cut, loss

lost for words

or

at a loss for words

COMMON If you are lost for words or at a loss for words, you are so amazed, shocked, or sad that you do not know what to say or how to express your feelings in words. She looked shocked and was, for a moment, lost for words. They were all waiting for me to say something. But for the first time in my life I felt at a loss for words. Note: You can also say that you are stuck for words. I was astonished to have been given the award — I was stuck for words.
See also: lost, word

cut your losses

abandon an enterprise or course of action that is clearly going to be unprofitable or unsuccessful before you suffer too much loss or harm.
The sense of cut here is probably ‘sever yourself from’ rather than ‘reduce in size’.
1991 Jane Smiley A Thousand Acres Ginny is eternally hopeful, you know. She never cuts her losses. She always thinks things could change.
See also: cut, loss

a dead ˈloss

a person or thing that is useless or a complete failure: This television is a dead loss; the picture fades completely after five minutes.
See also: dead, loss

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 ˌloss for ˈwords

unable to say anything: He’s never at a loss for words, in fact it’s difficult sometimes to stop him talking.I was completely at a loss for words. I had never been spoken to like that in my whole life.
See also: loss, word

cut your ˈlosses

stop doing something that is not successful before the situation becomes even worse: When our rent went up we decided to cut our losses and close the store.
See also: cut, 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 ?
ILWs are primarily used to protect against property risk, property catastrophe, marine, aviation, satellite losses, terrorism and workers' compensation catastrophe.
By taking a large paper loss on a stock or a mutual fund right away, an investor can build up a "bank" of tax losses that can be used to offset future gains.
Institutions should continue to maintain conservative allowance levels within a reasonable range of estimated credit losses, and banks can reserve at the high end of the range if it is management's best estimate.
With the addition of other stressors such as the emotional reactions to several losses and coping with reactions of family and friends, a great deal of unavailable energy may be required.
Service providers, such as counselors, medical professionals, and rehabilitation workers, must be able to talk openly and honestly with older adults with sensory losses about the future, to encourage and teach planning, and, when necessary, to facilitate the planning process.
Third-Party Losses -- Decide how each potential calamity will affect employees, customers, suppliers and other third parties.
Limits on Use of Passthrough Losses An S corporation passes through corporate losses to be deducted on the shareholders' personal returns.
Department of Treasury, relating to the proposed regulations on dual consolidated losses under section 1503(d) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Investment theft losses that result from nonbusiness, for-profit transactions may qualify for advantageous tax treatment.
Capital and surplus provides financial protection to policyholders in the event that a company suffers unexpected losses.
As is the case with other syndromic hearing losses, a significant number of patients with Waardenburg's s syndrome have both low- and high-frequency hearing losses and impairments, as indicated by U-shaped audiograms.
Even mild hearing losses were found to impose negative effects on function.
If the taxpayer has losses which qualify under the At-Risk provisions, he must then look to the Passive Activity loss limitation rules which became
Doral Financial's results of operations for the first six months of 2006 were principally impacted by: (1) reduced net interest income due principally to the interest rate environment and the repricing and maturity mismatch in the Company's assets and liabilities, (2) a net loss on mortgage loan sales and fees due to market value adjustments on the Company's held for sale portfolio, losses related to the restructuring of mortgage loan transfers to local financial institutions and lower margins on sales of mortgage loans, (3) increased expenses associated with the Company's restatement and reengineering initiative, and (4) a change in tax position from a tax expense for the first six months of 2005 to a tax benefit for the first six months of 2006.