1. n. [Drilling]
The loss of drilling fluid to a formation, usually caused when the hydrostatic head pressure of the column of drilling fluid exceeds the formation pressure. This loss of fluid may be loosely classified as seepage losses, partial losses, or catastrophic losses, each of which is handled differently depending on the risk to the rig and personnel and the economics of the drilling fluid and each possible solution.
Alternate Form: lost circulation
See: hydrostatic pressure