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lost for words

Meaning: You are lost for words if you're so surprised by something that you can't think of anything to say.

For example:

  • After hearing the news, Kerry was lost for words.

  • I've never seen our boss lost for words before, but when John called him a fool, he just stood there staring at him. I don't think anyone has ever said that to him before.

Note: The wonderful word "flabbergasted", meaning a mixture of surprise and confusion, can indicate a feeling similar to the one that "lost for words" suggests. "Dumbstruck" (i.e. to be struck dumb, or speechless, by something) is another interesting word with a similar meaning.

Quick Quiz:

Aisha was lost for words when she
  1. heard she'd won the lottery
  2. forgot her lines for the play
  3. couldn't find her speech

Discuss: lost for words

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