Difference Between Loss and Lost

Main Difference -Loss vs Lost

The word Loss and Lost be very confusing to discern, even though there is a difference between the two words. Both these terms are derived from the Germanic term los meaning destruction. The main difference between these two words is that Loss is a noun that refers to the process or fact of losing something or someone whereas lost is a verb (past tense of lose) meaning to be deprived of or cease to have something. Let us first see the definition, meaning and use of these words separately before discussing the differences between them.

Loss – Definition, Meaning, and Use

Loss is a noun, that can refer to the process or fact of losing something.

  • “Loss of appetite is a symptom of Cancer.”
  • “Job losses is affecting the mentality of the young generation.”

Loss can be used to describe a death of someone.

  • “She mourned her husband’s loss.”
  • “Despite the heavy number of losses in both sides, the war continued.”

Loss could also mean an amount of money lost by a company or an organization.

  • “The company incurred heavy losses.”
  • “His business is operating at a loss.”

Loss could also refer to an instance of losing i.e. defeat

  • “The rugger match ended in their first loss of the season”

Phrases using  “loss”

At a loss: indicates confusion, puzzlement

  • “When he told me he was leaving the country, I was at a loss for words and thoughts.”
  • “She was at a loss, when she saw her mother’s condition.”
difference between loss and lost

“Despite the heavy number of losses in both sides, the war continued.”

Lost – Definition, Meaning, and Use

Lost is the past tense and past participle of lose. Lost can also be used as an Adjective.

Lost means to be deprived of or cease to have something.

  • “He lost his appetite after hearing that tragic news.
  • “Many people lost their jobs due to recession.”

Lost could refer to the inability to find one’s way.

  • “He was lost in the forest.”
  • “Help! We’re lost”

Lost  could also refer to inability to cope without something or someone.

  • “I would be lost without my phone.”
  • “He didn’t want to give his secretary as he knew that would be lost without her.”

Lost as an adjective, can also refer to something that cannot be recovered.

  • “She mourned for her lost love.”
  • “Lost time can never be recovered”
  • “I’ve lost my car key.”

Lost can also mean having died or been destroyed.

“He prayed for the lost souls.”

“Every year, the lost soldiers of the Second World War are commemorated.”

Phrases using “lost”

Get lost: indicates anger and impatience, meaning go away.

  • “Get lost! don’t ever step foot here!”

Lost on: means failed to be noted or appreciated.

  • “The true meaning of the poem was lost on Anne”
    loss vs lost

    “She mourned for her lost love.”

Difference Between Loss and Lost

Meaning of Loss and Lost

Loss: Loss is the process or fact of losing something or someone.

Lost: Lost is the state of being deprived of something, inability to find one’s way or inability to recover, regain something.


Loss: Loss is a noun.

Lost: Lost is a verb (past tense verb and past participle of lose) as well as an adjective.


Loss: Loss  deals with the present.

Lost: Lost deals with the past.

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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