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dead loss

(informal) a person, thing, or situation that is completely useless or unprofitable
a complete loss for which no compensation is received
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Examples from the Web for dead loss
Historical Examples
  • As the money cannot be found it is a dead loss to me, and I hold you responsible.

    Buffalo Bill's Spy Trailer Colonel Prentiss Ingraham
  • If they mildewed they would be a dead loss to the merchants handling them.

    Steve and the Steam Engine Sara Ware Bassett
  • I could really make nothing of the business; it proved a dead loss.

    Embarrassments Henry James
  • But they were not a dead loss, as we used them the next fall for buck shot.

    Peck's Sunshine George W. Peck
  • His bargain would have been a dead loss to him at treble that sum.

    The World Before Them Susanna Moodie
  • "My lad, you've done right well; you're a dead loss to the navy," he smiled.

    With Wellington in Spain F. S. Brereton
  • This was his first dead loss of any importance; unfortunately, it was not the last.

  • He will be harmless to you, and a dead loss to his own side.

  • Behold the fate of a hypocrite: this knavery, is it any thing but a dead loss?

    The Visions of Quevedo Dom Francisco de Quevedo
  • He has spent thousands on the farm, and it has been a dead loss from the beginning.

    Esther Rosa Nouchette Carey
Idioms and Phrases with dead loss

dead loss

A total loss, as in They've changed the currency, so these old coins are a dead loss. [ Early 1700s ]
A worthless person or thing; also, an utter waste of time. For example, With an injured knee he's a dead loss to the team, or It rained every day, so our week at the beach was a dead loss. [ 1920s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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