miss 1 (mĭs)
v. missed, miss·ing, miss·es
1. To fail to hit, reach, catch, or otherwise make contact with: He swung at and missed the ball. The winger missed the pass. The ball missed the basket.
2. To be too late for or fail to meet (a train, for example).
3. To fail to perceive, experience, or understand: I missed my favorite TV show last night. You completely missed the point of the film.
4. To fail to accomplish or achieve: just missed setting a new record.
5. To fail to attend or perform: never missed a day of work.
6. To fail to answer correctly: missed three questions on the test.
7. To fail to benefit from; let slip: miss a chance.
8. To escape or avoid: We took a different way and missed the traffic jam.
9. To discover the absence or loss of: I missed my book after getting off the bus.
10. To be without; lack: a cart that is missing a wheel.
11. To feel the lack or loss of: Do you miss your family?
1. To fail to hit or otherwise make contact with something: took a shot near the goal and missed.
a. To be unsuccessful; fail: a money-making scheme that can't miss.
b. To misfire, as an internal-combustion engine.
1. A failure to hit or make contact with something.
2. A failure to be successful: The new movie was a miss.
3. The misfiring of an engine.
1. To fail to discharge. Used of a firearm.
2. To fail to achieve the anticipated result.
miss out on
To lose a chance for: missed out on the promotion.
miss the boat Informal
1. To fail to avail oneself of an opportunity.
2. To fail to understand.
[Middle English missen, from Old English missan; see mei-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.