lost cause


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lost cause

Something that has no or a very low chance of succeeding or turning out well. The general gave orders to surrender as soon as he saw the battle was a lost cause. Trying to keep a clean house with three young children is a lost cause.
See also: cause, lost

lost cause

a futile attempt; a hopeless matter. Our campaign to have the new party on the ballot was a lost cause. Todd gave it up as a lost cause.
See also: cause, lost

lost cause

A hopeless undertaking, as in Trying to get him to quit smoking is a lost cause. In the 1860s this expression was widely used to describe the Confederacy. [Mid-1800s] Also see losing battle.
See also: cause, lost

a lost cause

COMMON If something or someone is a lost cause, they are certain to fail and it is impossible to help them or make them succeed. It would have been all too easy to write this dog off as a lost cause, his trauma was so severe. He tried shouting for help, but he knew it was a lost cause.
See also: cause, lost

a lost ˈcause

an ambition, project or aim which seems certain to end in failure: For many years he supported the development of the electric car, but he now thinks it’s a lost cause.Trying to help him to improve his pronunciation is a lost cause.
See also: cause, lost

lost cause

n. a hopeless or worthless thing or person. The whole play began to wash out during the second act. It was a lost cause by the third.
See also: cause, lost
References in periodicals archive ?
By donating to the Lost Cause you're helping us to create a scholarship for foster kids who seek post-secondary education as a means of finding their own way, give guitars to schools in low rent areas and donate to programs helping street kids and drug affected youth.
Readers wedded to the Lost Cause theory of the Civil War may be put off by this book.
His public career reflected his upbringing: Wilson's five-volume study of American history was peppered with Lost Cause visions of a happy antebellum South.
By noting the changes in the city's make-up and image over a few critical years, he explained how Richmond was transformed from the shrine of the Lost Cause to an example of New South Progressivism.
Lee as marking the beginning of the entry of the Lost Cause into acceptance by mainstream white America.
But when you make it more difficult for reporters to find you, you can pretty much chalk up an introduction as a lost cause.
It's still not a lost cause to try to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.
Contributing factors: Two earlier 1[cent] increases, originally scheduled for June and July, were first delayed and then appeared to be a lost cause.
Quentin's time and place exposed him to two powerful leavens which consumed his thoughts and helped destroy him: the Lost Cause and his father's cynicism.
The city's political leaders being, "Champions of The Lost Cause," are trying to bring forth the mythical Brigadoon arising from the feathery mist.
He was a sturdy defender of the doctrine of equality of the brevis (and hence inequality of smaller note values in different mensurations), a lost cause against the prevailing view of equality of the minima championed by his enemy Gafori.
Although the games revealed the considerable shortcomings in Deep Thought's play at the beginning of a game, they also showed the computer's strengths - particularly in making the best of a seemingly lost cause.
However, Boosbeck is not a lost cause and residents will not lie down, be quiet or be walked all over.
Reconstructing the native south; American Indian literature and the lost cause.
Demon of the Lost Cause draws upon newspaper accounts, Sherman's letters and memories, biographies of Sherman and other historical sources to construct as accurate a picture as possible about Sherman's wartime actions.