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Difference between Dead loss and Total loss

dead loss

1. said of smth. totally unsuccessful:

  • The defense budget was not a dead loss: the economies of South Africa and Namibia got a shot in the arm as a result of this.

2. (coll.) said of a person who is quite worthless:

  • We’d better fire Smith now—he’s a dead loss.

total loss—(Insurance) an irreparably damaged vehicle:

  • The natural inclination is to under-insure and take the chance of not having a total loss.