Too small to be worth considering; more specifically, small beyond the limits of accuracy or measurement. This is a reference to “floating point underflow”.
The Hacker’s Jargon File claimed that it is also a pun on “undertow” (a kind of fast, cold current that sometimes runs just offshore and can be dangerous to swimmers).
“Well, sure, photon pressure from the stadium lights alters the path of a thrown baseball, but that effect gets lost in the underflow”.
Compare epsilon, epsilon squared; see also overflow bit.
- Lost in thought
Concentrating on or pondering over something. For example, Gwen didn’t hear a word you said; she was lost in thought.
noun, Machinery. 1. motion of a machine or mechanism, especially a reciprocating one, during which no useful work is performed. 2. motion between parts in an assembly due to manufacturing tolerances, adjustments, slip, or wear.
- Lost on one
Have no effect or influence on one, as in Ned’s attempts at humor were lost on Meg, or David’s kindness was not lost on his aunt. This expression uses lost in the sense of “wasted.” [ c. 1600 ] Also see: you’ve lost me
noun 1. See under (def 1).