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at a loss

AmE [ˈ@t .. 'lo:s] =/ˈæt ə ˈlɒːs/
BrE [ˈ@t .. 'los] = /ˈæt ə ˈlɒs/
  1. When you are at a loss, you do not know what to do or how to behave.
    I was completely at a loss because I forgot what I was supposed to say, and I knew that it was something very important.
    I was at a loss because my teacher told me to follow her instructions and then she forgot to give me the instructions.
    I met my teacher in the middle of the night. I was at a loss because I didn’t know how to greet him. Clearly, “good night” would not have worked. :-)