at a loss

I’m at a loss for words.


The phrase “at a loss” can be used in different contexts, often to express a state of confusion, not knowing what to do, or suffering a deficit in business or an emotional situation. Here are some examples:

  1. Confusion or Perplexity:
    • After the lecture on quantum mechanics, I was completely at a loss; the concepts were just too complex for me to grasp.
    • She stared at the broken machinery, at a loss for how to fix it.
  2. Business or Financial Loss:
    • The company has been operating at a loss for the past two quarters and might have to consider layoffs.
    • Due to a significant downturn in sales, the store was selling merchandise at a loss just to clear out inventory.
  3. Emotional State:
    • When he heard the news of his friend’s sudden passing, he was at a loss for words.
    • Feeling at a loss after the breakup, she spent days trying to understand what went wrong in the relationship.
  4. Lack of Direction or Not Knowing How to Proceed:
    • The team was at a loss after their leader resigned; nobody was sure how to move forward with the project.
    • After all her plans fell through, she was at a loss about what to do next with her career.