A person who is beaten by the competition, loses to the winner. Losing is the opposite of winning. The word "lose" is an irregular verb:

past participle
  • How many games have they lost this year? (This question is in the present perfect tense.)
  • Their team never loses a game.
  • Michael Phelps lost the race, but he still won a medal.
  • The Cubs are losing right now, but they have a chance to make a comeback this inning.
  • She lost the race but kept her dignity.
  • It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game that really matters. (This is a popular saying in the U.S.)

When this word is in the form of a noun, it becomes "loss."

  • They have three losses and five wins.
  • His loss was incredible, but he’s okay.
  • We don’t consider this a loss; instead, we think of it as an opportunity for improvement.
  • I’m so sorry for your loss. (This is something you can say when someone you know loses a family member to death.)

A person who loses constantly is called a "loser." The "s" in "loser" is a "z" sound. In some situtions, the word "loser" is a little derogatory and its use may be intended to hurt a person’s feelings, so be careful how you use it.

  • Don is such a loser. He can’t do anything right.
  • Don’t hang out with them. They’re losers.
  • You loser.
  • No one wants to be a loser.
  • The losers of the game have to buy drinks for the winners. (In this example, the word "loser" is not derogatory.)

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First published on August 1, 2012

Last update on August 8, 2017