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1. To miss the chance or opportunity to do something. Because I was so sick last week, I lost out on the chance to see my sister while she was in town. If you don't call the recruiter back right away, you're going to lose out.
2. To be defeated or bested by someone or something. In this usage, the phrase is often "lose out to (someone or something)." We'll lose out if we don't prepare well for the championship game. I didn't get the job, but it sounds like I lost out to someone who was much more qualified.
lose out on (something)
To miss the chance or opportunity to do, get, or participate in something. Because I was so sick last week, I lost out on the chance to see my sister while she was in town. I lost out on the promotion because I hadn't been logging my hours correctly in work.
1. to lose in competition; to lose one's expected reward. Our team lost out because our quarterback broke his leg. I ran my best race, but I still lost out.
2. lose out (on something) Go to miss out (on something).
1. Fail to succeed, be defeated, as in The election's over, and you've lost out. [Mid-1800s]
2. Also, lose out on or in . Miss an opportunity to participate, as in We came so late that we lost out on our chance to see her dance, or The Republicans lost out in last fall's elections. [Colloquial; mid-1900s] Also see miss out on.
1. To fail to achieve or receive an expected gain: Your sister got here first, so I'm giving her the money—I guess you lose out. The town will lose out on a lot of tax revenue if the factory is shut down.
2. lose out to To be defeated or surpassed by someone or something; lose to someone or something: Local companies are losing out to foreign companies in the competition for government contracts.