Can anybody give me a single word for a person who suffers great loss as in the context below. The word loser is not appropriate:

Mike lost everything after his failed business venture.

Phillip suffered great loss due to the flood.

6 Answers 6


How about "destitute"

Phillip was left destitute as a result of the flood./ Phillip is now a destitute.

There is also "ruined"

Philip suffered great loss due to the flood. He is now ruined.



  • 1
    +1 for destitute, which I have heard used in the way the OP is seeking, as a noun. (See first example here.) Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 22:52

"Victim" is often used for everything from natural disasters to diseases to financial ruin.


I'd suggest:

  • choker: an unfortunate person who is unable to perform effectively because of nervous tension or agitation.
  • Victim: One who is harmed by or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition.
  • Victim is the answer of the question because my class mahesh tutorials told me
    – user46667
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 10:06

Mike could be called an unfortunate:

A victim of bad luck.

Phillip could be called a sufferer:

One who suffers; a person who endures or undergoes pain, either of body or of mind; one sustaining evil of any kind.


"The bereaved" refers to someone who has suffered great loss, whether through the death of another or otherwise.

  • 1
    Even when nobody died? I'm used to "bereaved" applying to people who've lost loved ones, but not to those who've lost money or property. Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 21:12
  • "having a close relation or friend who has recently died".
    – Gigili
    Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 21:13
  • @Monica Cellio: It refers to great loss. It's just that almost any usage not referring to death is hyperbolic.
    – Marcin
    Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 21:14
  • According to etymonline, bereaved mostly applies to loss of loved ones, and bereft to loss due to circumstance. Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 21:09
  • @jwpat7 Mostly. Not the same as solely.
    – Marcin
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 18:30

It holds a negative connotation like loser but if you wanted an adjective sorry could fit.

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