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- (idiomatic) A cause, attempt, or effort that is hopeless or futile.
- He has already made up his mind, and it's a lost cause to try to change it.
- 2015, Paul Wilson, Alexis Sánchez sends Arsenal into final after gallant Reading go the distance (in The Guardian, 18 April 2015)
- Artfully pulling the ball back to leave McCleary chasing a lost cause, Sánchez calmly made space for a shot and applied a finish that beat the despairing dives of both Federici and Michael Hector, the latter vainly attempting to recover position when it was too late.