/laws, los/ , n.
1. detriment, disadvantage, or deprivation from failure to keep, have, or get: to bear the loss of a robbery.
2. something that is lost: The painting was the greatest loss from the robbery.
3. an amount or number lost: The loss of life increased each day.
4. the state of being deprived of or of being without something that one has had: the loss of old friends.
5. death, or the fact of being dead: to mourn the loss of a grandparent.
6. the accidental or inadvertent losing of something dropped, misplaced, stolen, etc.: to discover the loss of a document.
7. a losing by defeat; failure to win: the loss of a bet.
8. failure to make good use of something, as time; waste.
9. failure to preserve or maintain: loss of engine speed at high altitudes.
10. destruction or ruin: the loss of a ship by fire.
11. a thing or a number of related things that are lost or destroyed to some extent: Most buildings in the burned district were a total loss.
a. the losing of soldiers by death, capture, etc.
b. Often, losses . the number of soldiers so lost.
13. Insurance. occurrence of an event, as death or damage of property, for which the insurer makes indemnity under the terms of a policy.
14. Elect. a measure of the power lost in a system, as by conversion to heat, expressed as a relation between power input and power output, as the ratio of or difference between the two quantities.
15. at a loss ,
a. at less than cost; at a financial loss.
b. in a state of bewilderment or uncertainty; puzzled; perplexed: We are completely at a loss for an answer to the problem.
[ bef. 900; ME; OE los destruction; c. ON los looseness, breaking up. See LOSE, LOOSE ]
Syn. 4. privation, deprivation.
Ant. 1. gain.