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lost to the world



lost to the world (not generally comparable, comparative more lost to the world, superlative most lost to the world)

  1. (of a thing, event, etc) No longer used or available; unknown to or forgotten by everyone.
    • 1727, Daniel Defoe, The History of the Devil, ch. 17:
      [I]t seems this Method is of late grown out of Practice, and so like the melting of Marble and the painting of Glass, ’tis laid aside among the various useful Arts which History tells us are lost to the World.
    • 1898, H. G. Wells, "Thoughts on Cheapness and My Aunt Charlotte", in Certain Personal Matters:
      In those days there was a word "trashy," now almost lost to the world. My dear Aunt Charlotte used that epithet when, in her feminine way, she swore at people she did not like.
    • 1909, Gilbert Keith Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross, ch. 9:
      When he saw the car escaping he ran after it and shouted something which, owing to the increasing distance, could not be heard. It is awful to reflect that, if his remark was valuable, it is quite lost to the world.
    • 2015 June 10, Michael D. Shear, "Library of Congress Chief Retires Under Fire," New York Times (retrieved 1 Oct 2018):
      In a 2013 audit, the library’s inspector general warned that millions of items, some from as far back as the 1980s, remained piled in overflowing buildings and warehouses, virtually lost to the world.
  2. (of a person) No longer existent, deceased.
    • 1870, Epitaph on the tomb of Charles Dickens in Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey:
      “He was a sympathiser to the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England’s greatest writers is lost to the world.”
    • 2016, January 1, Martin Chilton, "Culture stars who died in 2015," Telegraph (UK) (retrieved 1 Oct 2018):
      A host of great writers, musicians and actors were lost to the world in 2015, including Leonard Nimoy, Terry Pratchett, Cilla Black and BB King.
  3. (of a person) Physically located in a remote place where one is unnoticed or incommunicado.
    • 1884, Henry James, The Author of Beltraffio, ch. 1:
      Miss Ambient, whom I also saw at intervals during the time that followed, has, with her embroideries and her attitudes, her necromantic glances and strange intuitions, retired to a Sisterhood, where, as I am told, she is deeply immured and quite lost to the world.
    • 1920, E. Phillips Oppenheim, The Great Impersonation, ch. 4:
      We have trekked the veldt and been lost to the world for many months at a time
  4. (of a person) Mentally focussed on one's own thoughts or feelings, or on some task, to such a degree that one is unaware of other people or of one's surroundings; unconscious.
    • 1919, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Rainbow Valley, ch. 14:
      When he reached the manse he went to his study and took down a bulky volume. [] He remained immersed in its mazes until dawn, struck a new trail of speculation and pursued it like a sleuth hound for the next week, utterly lost to the world, his parish and his family.
    • 1921, P. G. Wodehouse, Indiscretions of Archie, ch. 19:
      Bill had relapsed into a sort of waking dream. He sat frowning sombrely, lost to the world.
    • 2008 December 8, Natalie Angier, "Primal, Acute and Easily Duped: Our Sense of Touch," New York Times (retrieved 1 Oct 2018):
      Patients in a deep vegetative coma who seem otherwise lost to the world will show skin responsiveness when touched by a nurse.

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