hopeless, desperate, without chance [adjective/adverb] [kans-loos] Iconspeaker_3

"Kansloos" consists of "kans" and "-loos". "Kans" means "chance", "opportunity" or "possibility". The ending "-loos" means "without" and refers to the word it follows. Therefore, "kansloos" literally means "without chance" and it is used in that way when describing hopeless plans, hopeless behaviour or any hopeless situation. Informally, "kansloos" is also used when referring to people (see Examples).

The opposite of the "-loos" is "-rijk". "Rijk" literally means "rich". A word ending with "-rijk" means "with many" or "full of", again referring to the word it follows. Like "rijk", the separate "loos" does have a meaning too,  which is somewhat formal: "empty", or the somewhat old-fashioned meaning "missing" (see Extra), and in the expression: "wat is (hier) loos?": "what’s going on (here)?"

– "De Atlantische oceaan oversteken in een kano is een kansloze onderneming."

("Crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a canoe is a hopeless plan." Please note that "een kansloze onderneming" can be replaced here by "onbegonnen werk".)

– "Roger Federer was kansloos tegen Jokovic." 
("Roger Federer didn’t stand a chance against Jokovic.")

– "De deelgemeente Rotterdam-Zuid is dit project gestart om kansloze jongeren te helpen."
("The community Rotterdam-Zuid has started this project to support young people with few prospects." Note that in this sentence, "kansloos" can also be replaced by "kansarm" ("underprivileged"), literally "poor in chance".)

– "Hij heeft al zes talen geprobeerd te leren maar stopt steeds na drie maanden, het is echt kansloos." 
("He has already tried to learn six languages but he always quits after three months, it’s really hopeless.")

– "Hij komt altijd te laat voor examens, hij is echt kansloos." 
("He’s always late for exams, he’s really hopeless.")

– "Wat is hier loos?": what’s going on here?
– "Een loze bewering/belofte": An empty statement/promise.

Related words:
– Kans: chance, opportunity, possibility [noun] [de kans, de kansen].
– Kansrijk: full of chance, opportunity, possibility [adverb/adjective].
– Rijk: rich [adverb/adjective].
– Words ending on "-loos": without… [adverb/adjective].
– Arm: poor [adverb].
– Kansarm: underprivileged, having few prospects [adverb/adjective].

"Daar was laatst een meisje loos" is the title of an old Dutch sailor song. It literally translates to "Recently a girl has been missing".

2 thoughts on “Kansloos

  1. hoi.ik ben een studente nederlands die op zoek is naar homoniemen. einige suggesties?
    alvast bedankt.ps.een geweldige site!

  2. Hi Kalina, the Dutch language is full of homonyms 🙂 If you search the blog for ‘homonym’ you will find (only) a few.

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