verb (used with object)

  1. to fail to hit or strike: to miss a target.
  2. to fail to encounter, meet, catch, etc.: to miss a train.
  3. to fail to take advantage of: to miss a chance.
  4. to fail to be present at or for: to miss a day of school.
  5. to notice the absence or loss of: When did you first miss your wallet?
  6. to regret the absence or loss of: I miss you all dreadfully.
  7. to escape or avoid: He just missed being caught.
  8. to fail to perceive or understand: to miss the point of a remark.

verb (used without object)

  1. to fail to hit something.
  2. to fail of effect or success; be unsuccessful.


  1. a failure to hit something.
  2. a failure of any kind.
  3. an omission.
  4. a misfire.

Verb Phrases

  1. miss out, Chiefly British. to omit; leave out.
  2. miss out on, to fail to take advantage of, experience, etc.: You missed out on a great opportunity.


  1. miss fire. fire(def 52).

noun, plural miss·es.

  1. (initial capital letter) a title of respect for an unmarried woman, conventionally prefixed to her name or to the name of that which she represents: Miss Mary Jones; Miss Sweden.
  2. (used by itself, as a term of address, especially to a young woman): Miss, please bring me some ketchup.
  3. (initial capital letter) a title prefixed to a mock surname used to represent a particular attribute of the person, especially one excessively prominent: Miss Innocent; Miss Congeniality.
  4. a young unmarried woman; girl: a radiant miss of 18 or so.
  5. misses,
    1. a range of sizes, chiefly from 6 to 20, for garments that fit women of average height and build.
    2. the department or section of a store where these garments are sold.
    3. a garment in this size range.

  1. mission.
  2. missionary.

  1. Mississippi.


  1. to fail to reach, hit, meet, find, or attain (some specified or implied aim, goal, target, etc)
  2. (tr) to fail to attend or be present forto miss a train; to miss an appointment
  3. (tr) to fail to see, hear, understand, or perceiveto miss a point
  4. (tr) to lose, overlook, or fail to take advantage ofto miss an opportunity
  5. (tr) to leave out; omitto miss an entry in a list
  6. (tr) to discover or regret the loss or absence ofhe missed his watch; she missed him
  7. (tr) to escape or avoid (something, esp a danger), usually narrowlyhe missed death by inches
  8. miss the boat or miss the bus to lose an opportunity


  1. a failure to reach, hit, meet, find, etc
  2. give something a miss informal to avoid (something)give the lecture a miss; give the pudding a miss


  1. informal an unmarried woman or girl, esp a schoolgirl


  1. a title of an unmarried woman or girl, usually used before the surname or sometimes alone in direct address

abbreviation for

  1. Mississippi

v.Old English missan “fail to hit, miss (a mark); fail in what was aimed at; escape (someone’s notice),” influenced by Old Norse missa “to miss, to lack;” both from Proto-Germanic *missjan “to go wrong” (cf. Old Frisian missa, Middle Dutch, Dutch missen, German missen “to miss, fail”), from *missa- “in a changed manner,” hence “abnormally, wrongly,” from PIE root *mei- “to change” (root of mis- (1); see mutable). Related: Missed; missing. Meaning “to fail to get what one wanted” is from mid-13c. Sense of “to escape, avoid” is from 1520s; that of “to perceive with regret the absence or loss of (something or someone)” is from late 15c. Sense of “to not be on time for” is from 1823; to miss the boat in the figurative sense of “be too late for” is from 1929, originally nautical slang. To miss out (on) “fail to get” is from 1929. n.2“the term of honour to a young girl” [Johnson], originally (c.1600) a shortened form of mistress. By 1640s as “prostitute, concubine;” sense of “title for a young unmarried woman, girl” first recorded 1660s. In the 1811 reprint of the slang dictionary, Miss Laycock is given as an underworld euphemism for “the monosyllable.” Miss America is from 1922 as the title bestowed on the winner of an annual nationwide U.S. beauty/talent contest. Earlier it meant “young American women generally” or “the United States personified as a young woman,” and it also was the name of a fast motor boat. n.1late 12c., “loss, lack; ” c. 1200, “regret occasioned by loss or absence,” from Old English miss “absence, loss,” from source of missan “to miss” (see miss (v.)). Meaning “an act or fact of missing; a being without” is from late 15c.; meaning “a failure to hit or attain” is 1550s. To give something a miss “to abstain from, avoid” is from 1919. Phrase a miss is as good as a mile was originally, an inch, in a miss, is as good as an ell (see ell). In addition to the idioms beginning with miss

  • miss a beat
  • miss by a mile
  • miss fire
  • miss is as good as a mile, a
  • miss much
  • miss out on
  • miss the boat
  • miss the point
  • also see:

  • heart misses a beat
  • hit or miss
  • near miss
  • not miss a trick
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