Difference Wiki

Lose vs. Win: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on September 28, 2023
"Lose" means to be deprived of or cease to retain something, while "Win" means to achieve victory or success in a competition or conflict.

Key Differences

"Lose" and "Win" are antonyms in many contexts, representing opposite outcomes in various scenarios, primarily competitions.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023
When someone "loses", they don't achieve the desired outcome or top position. For instance, a team that scores fewer points than its opponent will lose the game. In contrast, "win" signifies triumph or success, marking the attainment of a goal or the betterment of rivals.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023
Beyond the context of competitions, "lose" can suggest misplacing or no longer possessing something, like when one says they lose their keys. On the other hand, "win" can extend to situations where one gains something beneficial, like winning a prize or someone's trust.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023
Emotionally, to "lose" often brings feelings of disappointment, while to "win" elicits joy and pride. Yet, in some contexts, to "lose" oneself can mean to become engrossed, whereas "winning" might refer to prevailing in challenges or life battles.
Harlon Moss
Sep 28, 2023
Summing it up, "lose" and "win" are contrasting terms, reflecting failure versus success, deprivation versus attainment, and generally negative versus positive outcomes.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

To be deprived of or cease to have/retain.
To achieve victory or success.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Contextual Usage

Failure, misplacing items, no longer possessing.
Triumph, gaining something, prevailing.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Grammatical Role

Typically a verb.
Mostly a verb, sometimes a noun (e.g., "a win").
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Examples

Lose a game, lose one's way.
Win a race, win respect.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023

Related Expressions

Lose out, lose track.
Win over, win out.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023
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Lose and Win Definitions

Lose

To misplace or not be able to find.
I often lose my glasses.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Win

To be victorious in a contest or competition.
We trained hard to win the championship.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Lose

To fail to use or take advantage of.
Don't lose the opportunity.
Harlon Moss
Sep 28, 2023

Win

To achieve a position through competition or struggle.
She wants to win first place.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023

Lose

To be unsuccessful in retaining possession of; mislay
He's always losing his car keys.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To achieve victory or finish first in a competition.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To be deprived of (something one has had)
Lost her art collection in the fire.
Lost her job.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To achieve success in an effort or venture
Struggled to overcome the handicap and finally won.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To be left alone or desolate because of the death of
Lost his wife.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To achieve victory or finish first in
Won the race.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To be unable to keep alive
A doctor who has lost very few patients.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To receive as a prize or reward for performance
Won a gold medal.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To be unable to keep control or allegiance of
Lost his temper at the meeting.
Is losing supporters by changing his mind.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To achieve or obtain by effort
Win concessions in negotiations.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To fail to win; fail in
Lost the game.
Lost the court case.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To gain (respect or love, for example) by effort
Won their loyalty.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To fail to use or take advantage of
Don't lose a chance to improve your position.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To make (one's way) with effort.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To fail to hear, see, or understand
We lost the plane in the fog. I lost her when she started speaking about thermodynamics.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To reach with difficulty
The ship won a safe port.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To let (oneself) become unable to find the way.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To take in battle; capture
Won the heights after a fierce attack.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To remove (oneself), as from everyday reality into a fantasy world.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To succeed in gaining the affection or loyalty of (someone)
He wooed and won her.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To rid oneself of
Lost five pounds.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To succeed in gaining the favor or support of; prevail on
Her eloquence won over the audience.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To consume aimlessly; waste
Lost a week in idle occupations.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To discover and open (a vein or deposit) in mining.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To wander from or become ignorant of
Lose one's way.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To extract from a mine or from mined ore.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To elude or outdistance
Lost their pursuers.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

A victory, especially in a competition.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To be outdistanced by
Chased the thieves but lost them.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

First place in a competition.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To become slow by (a specified amount of time). Used of a timepiece.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

An amount won or earned.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To cause or result in the loss of
Failure to reply to the advertisement lost her the job.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To conquer, defeat.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To cause to be destroyed. Usually used in the passive
Both planes were lost in the crash.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To reach some destination or object, despite difficulty or toil (now usually intransitive, with preposition or locative adverb).
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To cause to be damned.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

(transitive) To triumph or achieve victory in (a game, a war, etc.).
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To suffer loss
Investors who lost heavily on the firm's stock.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

(transitive) To gain (a prize) by succeeding in competition or contest.
To win the jackpot in a lottery;
To win a bottle of wine in a raffle
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To be defeated
Our team lost in overtime.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

(transitive) To obtain (someone) by wooing; to make an ally or friend of (frequently with over).
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To operate or run slow. Used of a timepiece.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

(intransitive) To achieve victory.
Who would win in a fight between an octopus and a dolphin?
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

(transitive) To cause (something) to cease to be in one's possession or capability due to unfortunate or unknown circumstances, events or reasons.
If you lose that ten-pound note, you'll be sorry.
He lost his hearing in the explosion.
She lost her position when the company was taken over.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

(intransitive) To have power, coercion or control.
Ever since the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Bostonians now run as "One Boston." The terrorists did not win.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

(transitive) To have (an organ) removed from one's body, especially by accident.
Johnny lost a tooth, but kept it for the tooth fairy.
He lost his spleen in a car wreck.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

(transitive) To obtain (something desired).
The company hopes to win an order from the government worth over 5 million dollars.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

(transitive) To shed (weight).
I’ve lost five pounds this week.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

(transitive) To cause a victory for someone.
The success of the economic policies should win Mr. Smith the next elections.
The policy success should win the elections for Mr. Smith.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

(transitive) To experience the death of (someone to whom one has an attachment, such as a relative or friend).
She lost all her sons in the war.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To extract (ore, coal, etc.).
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

(transitive) To give or owe (money) after losing a bet.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To defeat or surpass someone or something.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To be deprived of access to something.
Users who engage in disruptive behavior may lose their accounts.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To dry by exposure to the wind.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To wander from; to miss, so as not to be able to find; to go astray from.
I lost my way in the forest.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

An individual victory.
Our first win of the season put us in high spirits.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

(transitive) To fail to win (a game, competition, trial, etc).
We lost the football match.
You just lost The Game.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

(slang) A feat carried out successfully; a victorious achievement.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

(transitive) To be unable to follow or trace (somebody or something) any longer.
The policeman lost the robber he was chasing.
Mission control lost the satellite as its signal died down.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

(obsolete) Gain; profit; income.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

(transitive) To cause (somebody) to be unable to follow or trace one any longer.
We managed to lose our pursuers in the forest.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

(obsolete) Wealth; goods owned.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

(transitive) To cease exhibiting; to overcome (a behavior or emotion).
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

(Scotland) Pleasure; joy; delight.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To shed, remove, discard, or eliminate.
When we get into the building, please lose the hat.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To gain by superiority in competition or contest; to obtain by victory over competitors or rivals; as, to win the prize in a gate; to win money; to win a battle, or to win a country.
Thy well-breathed horseImpels the flying car, and wins the course.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Of a clock, to run slower than expected.
My watch loses five minutes a week.
It's already 5:30? My watch must have lost a few minutes.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To allure to kindness; to bring to compliance; to gain or obtain, as by solicitation or courtship.
Thy virtue wan me; with virtue preserve me.
She is a woman; therefore to be won.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

(ditransitive) To cause (someone) the loss of something; to deprive of.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To gain over to one's side or party; to obtain the favor, friendship, or support of; to render friendly or approving; as, to win an enemy; to win a jury.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To fail to catch with the mind or senses; to miss.
I lost a part of what he said.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To come to by toil or effort; to reach; to overtake.
Even in the porch he him did win.
And when the stony path began,By which the naked peak they wan,Up flew the snowy ptarmigan.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

(obsolete) Fame, renown; praise.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To extract, as ore or coal.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To part with unintentionally or unwillingly, as by accident, misfortune, negligence, penalty, forfeit, etc.; to be deprived of; as, to lose money from one's purse or pocket, or in business or gaming; to lose an arm or a leg by amputation; to lose men in battle.
Fair Venus wept the sad disasterOf having lost her favorite dove.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To gain the victory; to be successful; to triumph; to prevail.
Nor is it aught but justThat he, who in debate of truth hath won,should win in arms.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To cease to have; to possess no longer; to suffer diminution of; as, to lose one's relish for anything; to lose one's health.
If the salt hath lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

A victory (as in a race or other competition);
He was happy to get the win
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Not to employ; to employ ineffectually; to throw away; to waste; to squander; as, to lose a day; to lose the benefits of instruction.
The unhappy have but hours, and these they lose.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

Something won (especially money)
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To wander from; to miss, so as not to be able to and; to go astray from; as, to lose one's way.
He hath lost his fellows.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

Be the winner in a contest or competition; be victorious;
He won the Gold Medal in skating
Our home team won
Win the game
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To ruin; to destroy; as destroy; as, the ship was lost on the ledge.
The woman that deliberates is lost.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

Win something through one's efforts;
I acquired a passing knowledge of Chinese
Gain an understanding of international finance
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To be deprived of the view of; to cease to see or know the whereabouts of; as, he lost his companion in the crowd.
Like following life thro' creatures you dissect,You lose it in the moment you detect.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

Obtain advantages, such as points, etc.;
The home team was gaining ground
After defeating the Knicks, the Blazers pulled ahead of the Lakers in the battle for the number-one playoff berth in the Western Conference
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To fail to obtain or enjoy; to fail to gain or win; hence, to fail to catch with the mind or senses; to miss; as, I lost a part of what he said.
He shall in no wise lose his reward.
I fought the battle bravely which I lost,And lost it but to Macedonians.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

Attain success or reach a desired goal;
The enterprise succeeded
We succeeded in getting tickets to the show
She struggled to overcome her handicap and won
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To cause to part with; to deprive of.
How should you go about to lose him a wife he loves with so much passion?
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To gain as a result of one's efforts or actions.
He managed to win her trust.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Lose

To prevent from gaining or obtaining.
O false heart! thou hadst almost betrayed me to eternal flames, and lost me this glory.
In the excitement of such a discovery, many scholars lost their heads.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To earn or receive as a prize.
They hope to win the lottery.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023

Lose

To suffer loss, disadvantage, or defeat; to be worse off, esp. as the result of any kind of contest.
We 'll . . . hear poor roguesTalk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Win

To succeed or triumph over.
You can win any challenge with determination.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Lose

Fail to keep or to maintain; cease to have, either physically or in an abstract sense;
She lost her purse when she left it unattended on her seat
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Fail to win;
We lost the battle but we won the war
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Suffer the loss of a person through death or removal;
She lost her husband in the war
The couple that wanted to adopt the child lost her when the biological parents claimed her
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Place (something) where one cannot find it again;
I misplaced my eyeglasses
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Miss from one's possessions; lose sight of;
I've lost my glasses again!
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Allow to go out of sight;
The detective lost the man he was shadowing after he had to stop at a red light
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Fail to make money in a business; make a loss or fail to profit;
I lost thousands of dollars on that bad investment!
The company turned a loss after the first year
The company has not profited from the merger
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Fail to get or obtain;
I lost the opportunity to spend a year abroad
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Retreat
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Fail to perceive or to catch with the senses or the mind;
I missed that remark
She missed his point
We lost part of what he said
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

Be set at a disadvantage;
This author really suffers in translation
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2022

Lose

To be defeated in a game or competition.
Our team might lose if we don't improve.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Lose

To no longer possess or retain.
If you don't eat, you'll lose weight.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023

Lose

To suffer the loss or deprivation of.
I don't want to lose you.
Sara Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

FAQs

Are "Lose" and "Win" direct opposites?

In many contexts, especially competitions, they are.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Does "Lose" always have a negative connotation?

Mostly, but not always. "Lose oneself" can be positive.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023

Can "Win" be used as a noun?

Yes, e.g., "That was a big win for us."
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Can "Lose" mean misplacing something?

Yes, like losing keys or a wallet.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Is "Win" always about competitions?

No, it can be about gaining trust, love, etc.
Sara Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

How is "Lose" related to deprivation?

It means no longer possessing or retaining something.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Can "Lose" be used in positive contexts?

Rarely, but "losing oneself" in music is positive.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Can you "lose" intangible things?

Yes, like losing hope or confidence.
Janet White
Sep 28, 2023

Can you "win" without a competition?

Yes, you can win someone's heart, for instance.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

What's the opposite of "lose out"?

"Win out".
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023

Can "Lose" mean to waste?

Yes, as in "lose time" or "lose an opportunity".
Janet White
Sep 28, 2023

Is "Win" always active?

Mostly, but one can "win" a lottery passively.
Harlon Moss
Sep 28, 2023

Does "Win" imply effort?

Often, as victories typically require effort.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Is "Win" always about beating someone?

Not always, it can be about personal achievement.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023

Can "Lose" describe a decrease?

Yes, like losing weight or speed.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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