a lost cause

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - a lost cause

"a lost cause"

something or someone that has no chance of success


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - a lost cause

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Are you absolutely sure that we are not going to be able to have that material printed by Monday?

Colleague 2:  It is a lost cause. I have called the printers repeatedly but they are overwhelmed with work and there is absolutely no way they can have our material ready any time before Thursday.

Colleague 1:  Maybe I will phone them.

Colleague 2:  Sure but it will be an exercise in futility.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - a lost cause

A couple are talking ...

Wife:  Do you think that Harold will stick with his new house painting job?

Husband:  This is the third job he has had this year already. I can't remember how many jobs Harold has been fired from.

Wife:  So you think that Harold is a lost cause?

Husband:  Sorry to say but, yes, I think that Harold will be a failure in life.

a lost cause - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   1,122   click for frequency by country

a lost cause - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for a lost cause.

a lost cause - Examples:

1)  Neither of us considers California to be a lost cause. But the problems are far deeper than the boosters believe -- a deteriorating infrastructure ...

2)  ... would be a lost cause and a waste of time if the protesters are from the usual suspects ...

3)  ... parents were seen as bad, primitive people who were a lost cause.

4)  ... had to believe a turnaround was possible. It's not a lost cause. We've got to be confident. We've got to be optimistic.

5)  ... was praying music took me somewhere and if it meant that I was a lost cause to my family because I wasn't going to college, so be it.

6)  ... they will lose heart. Why should they sacrifice their lives for a lost cause?

7)  ... but after a few months they're beginning to realise she's a lost cause. Hearing her trying to speak Russian makes their ears bleed.

8)  I knew it was a lost cause and finally convinced everyone there was nothing more we could do.

9)  The militants realized it's a lost cause, and they are running away.

10)  ... didn't want to waste a good leader on what they thought was a lost cause.

11)  ... that patrol the high fences that surround the perimeter, but it is a lost cause. The inmates know how to bypass them and use their mobiles to order contraband ...

12)  Why are you spending so much time and money on a lost cause?

13)  ... been turned in. So she filed a police report thinking it was a lost cause.

14)  I am afraid you are a lost cause. You are beyond help.

15)  ... passionate to the bone about the early years, but I'm fighting a lost cause if my own school can not see the value in what I do.

16)  Today, nuclear disarmament seems to be a lost cause as ...

17)  ... they're not going to continue to invest in what they perceive as a lost cause.

18)  But for him, not all relapsed patients are a lost cause. A database his hospital set up in 1997, which tracks outcomes of ...

19)  I think people felt like this was a lost cause and not much could be done.

20)  To resist sleep is to fight a lost cause. Sleep always wins whenever it visits.