lost cause

(redirected from lost causes)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

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 ?
This welcomely identifies Lost Causes in the context of the continuing reappraisal of "the Victorians" in their many colors.
One of the most pertinent areas considered in Lost Causes concerns the intersection of "history," "realism," and "literature.
The elective affinities between the southern sense of defensiveness and postliberalism's self-referential call to distinctiveness are so powerful that postliberalism's substantive commitments themselves become lost causes.
I got through two lost causes and took them to a big final.
It was a lost cause the first year when I went over because we were doomed to be relegated.
But McCoy has made rescuing lost causes his business from the saddle and simply would not be denied as he got up to deny Briery Fox by a neck in a pulsating finish, one to rival Special Cargo some 25 years ago.
There are more deserving lost causes out there than Labour.
He has taken on so many of everyone else's waifs, strays and lost causes and made them work for his team right through his career.
He said: "Chasing lost causes was probably the best description of my job.
THE thought that the magnificent Sawyer might one day be killed off on Lost causes us many sleepless nights.
Not only in terms of trying to create for us, but by chasing lost causes.