Meaning of “lost” in the English Dictionary

"lost" in British English

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uk /lɒst/ us /lɑːst/

lost adjective (PLACE UNKNOWN)

A2 not knowing where you are and how to get to a place:

I got lost in the New York subway system.
You look lost - can I help you?

B1 If something is lost, no one knows where it is:

Things tend to get lost when you move.
Lost: black cat with white paws.
Mikey turned up with the lost book.

More examples

  • Stick to the main roads and you won't get lost.
  • When you got lost in the forest you must have been very frightened.
  • He gazed pensively at the glass in front of him, lost in thought.
  • My letter must have got lost in the post.
  • After three days lost in the mountains, all the climbers arrived home safe and sound.

(Definition of “lost” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"lost" in American English

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us /lɔst/

lost adjective (CANNOT BE FOUND)

(of a person) unable to find your way, or (of an item) not to be found:

We got lost on the way home.
fig. I’d be lost without you (= I would not know what to do).

lost adjective (CONFUSED)

confused, or not able to understand or appreciate:

His explanation was so complicated, I got lost after the first example.
Everyone else thought it was funny, but that joke was lost on me.


us /lɔst/

lost (LOSE)

past simple and past participle of lose

(Definition of “lost” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)