lost in action



lost in action (not comparable)

  1. (euphemistic, of a military serviceperson) Killed during military combat.
  2. (of military equipment, resources, etc.) Destroyed during military combat.
    • 1944, "Navy Lists Ships Lost in Battle of Philippines," Daytona Beach Morning Journal, 18 Nov., p. 1 (retrieved 15 Sep 2010):
      Summing up the furious October 22-27 battle in the longest Naval communique of the war, the department identified six American ships lost in action.
  3. (figuratively, by extension, of persons, things, policies, etc.) Rejected, nullified, incapacitated, or rendered unavailable.
    • 1995, Rick Telander, "Jordan Does the Stinging," Chicago Sun-Times, 29 April (retrieved 15 Sep 2010):
      The Bulls were definitely stung by the Hornets at the beginning of this first playoff game. Some Bulls were lost in action.
    • 2001, Pascale Le Draoulec, "Flashy Thai, Ordinary Food," New York Daily News, 8 June (retrieved 15 Sep 2010):
      [T]he bean sprouts, cilantro, green onions and peanuts—which give pad thai its flavor and crunch—were so soggy or lost in action that no amount of lobster, sugar or spice could save the dish from its torpor.
    • 2004, Matthew Cooper, "Bush's Bills: Lost In Action," Time, 24 April:
      The President will continue to push for his legislation, but White House officials recognize that, with the election approaching, it won't get any easier.

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