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From Middle English losel (also lorel), from *losen, loren, past participle of lesen (to lose), equivalent to lose +‎ -le.



losel (plural losels)

  1. (archaic) A worthless or despicable person.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.iii:
      The whiles a losell wandring by the way, / One that to bountie neuer cast his mind, / Ne thought of honour euer did assay […].
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 4, chapter III, The One Institution
      These thousand straight-standing firm-set individuals, who shoulder arms, who march, wheel, advance, retreat; and are, for your behoof, a magazine charged with fiery death, in the most perfect condition of potential activity: few months ago, till the persuasive sergeant came, what were they? Multiform ragged losels, runaway apprentices, starved weavers, thievish valets […]
    • 1954, Philip Larkin, Toads:
      Lots of folk live on their wits: / Lecturers,lispers, / Losels, loblolly-men, louts-- / They don't end up as paupers; […]
    • 1964, Anthony Burgess, The Eve of St Venus:
      ‘Come on, you losel,’ he said to Spatchcock, ‘you privy calligrapher, you. You can carry his bottles. I’ll carry him.’


Derived termsEdit


losel (comparative more losel, superlative most losel)

  1. Worthless; wasteful.