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 ?
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.
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.
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.
Her debut release, The Lost Cause, was produced and engineered by Raine Maida, lead singer of Canadian rock band Our Lady Peace.
n g Lomas But, ahead of tomorrow night's trip to Dens Park, Butcher admitted he knows only too well how quickly a supposed lost cause can be revived in the SPL.
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.
And to commemorate the TV phenomenon's final voyage comes a pair of documentaries dedicated to the Lost cause.
Jailing him for 29 months, Judge Nigel Van der Bijl told Meurin he seemed to be a lost cause and urged him to seek help in jail.
The three-year-old looked woefully outpaced over 6f and the race was a lost cause by the time she found her stride.
Whitbread of times gone by - but it looked a lost cause as longtime leader Briery Fox came with a strong challenge to former winner Sandown Lacdoudal.