What Does “Lost At Sea” Mean? How To Use It In A Sentence

Have you ever felt like you’re losing track of things? At some point in our lives, we have all related to this sensation of not knowing what to do. In this article, we will provide some context related to the phrase “lost at sea”.

“Lost at sea” (also known as at sea) means something is confusing. It also refers to hesitation about making decisions. Someone that we can describe as “lost at sea” is off-course and lacking confidence. We can use it in a sentence when we want to say that someone does not understand something.

Origin Of The Phrase

One of the first records (if not the first) comes from the book “Commentaries on the Laws of England.” written by William Blackstone in 1768. But, the whole phrase appeared for the first time in Travel and Adventure in Southeast Africa. The author of that book is Frederick C. Selous, and it is from 1893.

The expression refers to older times where people did not have tools for safe navigation. Because of this, when people went to the sea, the sailors would get lost. Finding land was hard, and sometimes straying from the original location was an issue. In the worst cases, ships would disappear and never surface again.

How People Use The Phrase

A bunch of people apply idioms to express things better. Almost every expression adds an identity to your casual chit-chats. It involves your personality too. When you use them, people have an idea of what you are trying to say. At the same time, you keep it pleasing and exciting.

People often use it to describe the sensation of being in a prolonged state of confusion. The phrase “lost at sea” means that you do not know what is going on.

Examples Of The Phrase In A Sentence

  1. I do not know what to do. I am at sea, but I know I will get out of this, even if it is hard to do it.
  2. His family is going through a lot. Adam is only thirteen years old, and he feels “lost at sea.” It is sad, you know?
  3. They feel “lost at sea.” The teacher is mad, and she is yelling at them. She has no patience at all.
  4. The idiom “lost at sea” has three words and nine letters. Lost is a verb, at is a preposition, and the word sea is a noun.
  5. He is trying to explain to me a math problem. Still, I am at sea. I am not good at solving numbers problems.
  6. Everyone is at sea with the speech; right now, I only understand a few things.
  7. The medication is making him experience dizziness. Sometimes, he even faints. When he wakes up, he is at sea.
  8. When I am learning, my ADHD is severe, and I am at sea. But therapy is the best treatment.
  9. Three years ago I was at sea. But now I am not, and I am relieved.
  10. I can describe him as “lost at sea.” It does not matter how much I try; he does not understand.


What Type Of Phrase Is It?

“lost at sea” is an idiomatic phrase from the English language. Underneath, you can see some synonyms and antonyms with examples.

Synonyms Of “Lost At Sea.”

  1. Adrift
  2. Baffled
  3. Befuddled
  4. Bemused
  5. Bewildered
  6. Confused
  7. Disarranged
  8. Disordered
  9. Disorganizing
  10. Disorientation
  11. Dumbfounded
  12. Hazy
  13. Imprecise
  14. Muddled
  15. Nonplussed
  16. Perplexed
  17. Stumped
  18. Stupefied
  19. Unbalanced
  20. Unclear
  21. Incomprehensible


Examples In Sentences

  1. When I feel lost in life, I am adrift from my reality. I need to focus more on what is happening in real life, not in my mind.
  2. The blood exam baffled the doctor. He says I need to do four more tests to see if everything is okay.
  3. His attitude bemused the audience. Nobody knows when he changed. It can be a consequence of fame.
  4. The face that he has right now shows that he is bewildered by the situation. He will understand with time and patience.
  5. Anne is confused. One day, she desires one thing, and then she changes her mind. She is not stable at all.
  6. My siblings are so disoriented. They do not know where our house is, and we have lived here since I was five years old.
  7. I am dumbfounded at the moment. This test is so long, and I cannot concentrate.
  8. The directions are imprecise. Can you slow down a bit and explain again? Or could you send me the location in a message?
  9. That Broadway act is making me perplexed. The ending is unclear, but it was entertaining. 
  10. Veronica communicates uniquely. Sometimes, it is incomprehensible. When she writes essays, the teacher suffers.

Antonyms Of “Lost At Sea.”

  1. Attentive
  2. Aware
  3. Appreciate
  4. Cognizance
  5. Comprehension
  6. Conceive
  7. Discernment
  8. Figure out
  9. Found
  10. Identify
  11. Infer
  12. Interpretation
  13. Learn
  14. Mastery
  15. Perceive
  16. Perception
  17. Realize
  18. Understand
  19. Understanding

Examples In Sentences

  1. That girl is attentive. She remembers every single detail of the day we met.
  2. I am aware of my body image. Please, do not tell me negative things. My self-esteem is not that strong.
  3. I appreciate the gift so much, but I cannot accept it. It is too expensive. I am a woman of simple details.
  4. My daughter does not have the cognizance that she is acting childishly. When she grows up, she will understand.
  5. I keep trying to comprehend the lyrics of their songs. But that way of singing is too unfamiliar for my ears.
  6. Gabriella is a woman full of discernment. She makes fantastic decisions and knows how to analyze and judge.
  7. I am trying to figure out what is going on. The party started, and now there is a fight in the backyard.
  8. Let me identify that airplane. I need my glasses, and I can tell you what model it is. I am so passionate about this; I am glad you asked me about this.
  9. I now realize the time we are wasting; we could do all this online.
  10. Barbara understands the assignment every time. When I am confused, I reach out to her.


Famous Quotes With The Idiom “Lost At Sea.”

“I am fascinated by the idea of being in an independent space where I am “lost at sea.”” — Jenny Slate.

“Sometimes, you need to let people go if you love them. Let them go far away. It isn’t good when you try to bring them back to their home. From time to time, they may feel secure and cheerful, the same as Annabelle Aurora. And then, we can assume that they were “lost at sea.” It is your responsibility to get in a ship and hunt, no matter how the weather and the waves are.” 

— Deb Caletti.

“Till you risk missing your vision of the shore, you will not understand the fear and panic of being always “lost at sea.”” — Charlie Cook.

“How infrequently do our sentiments reach the thing they appear to be worthy of? How desperately we wave; how obscure the atmosphere; how high the tides. Every single one of us is “lost at sea,” flooded with faith and discouragement, summoning things that may (by no means) arrive to save us.” — Julian Barnes.

“While she visualizes, she fancies a lady that is “lost at sea.” But at some point, that lady will find the seaside.” — Gabrielle Zevin.

“Perhaps, that was not the woman that I know. Maybe it was the others, so we could not realize what she tried to do and could not understand her. She was the sea; she made everyone feel like they are “lost at sea.”” — R.M Drake.

“A man is never “lost at sea” completely, and the land is abundant.” — Ernest Hemingway.

“I am bent back and moving with it, gazing at the sky. I am eleven years old; I am sixteen years old, I am eighteen years old, I am a baby, I am every person. And I am everywhere with you and without you freed in the afterlife “lost at sea.”” — Bryan Lee O’Malley.

The Phrase In Pop Culture Titles


  1. “lost at sea” — Zedd
  2. At all sea — Jamie Cullen

Books or comics:

  1. “lost at sea” — Bryan Lee O’Malley
  2. “Lost at Sea” by Jon — Jon Ronson


  1. All at sea — By Hugh Janes and Robert Young


Altogether, we can conclude by saying that this expression is short but is full of quality learning. As we saw, there is more than you would think about these few words. At the same time, it is essential to keep your mind and vocabulary growing. After reading this, you can identify the meaning of this idiom and apply it to your conversations in a smooth way.

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.