In Russian, you can use the word 'oversleep' (as a transitive verb) to mean "fail to notice and take action about something until it's too late" (usually, something that causes harm to that person/organization etc.). For example, you could say that Nokia "overslept" the advent of smartphones and lost its leading position in the cellphone market which it maintained through most of the 2000s. What verb (or expression, if there's no such word) can I use to convey the same meaning?


According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the verb miss has two meanings which, combined, fully describe the situation.

to not notice someone or something

to fail to do or experience something, often something planned or expected, or to avoid doing or experiencing something

Here are some examples of its use:

A missed opportunity? When Nokia doubted the iPhone - Marketplace

Nokia missed smartphone ‘revolution’ - Financial Times, 2012

Nokia unfortunately missed the cues for two key opportunities. - EE Times


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  • Do you have something better? – Sergey Zolotarev Apr 2 at 10:11
  • I think that miss is pretty good. I have updated my answer to add some examples of its use in this context: – JavaLatte Apr 2 at 10:52
  • What I want to say is not really "miss", it's "miss the emergence of some threat and fail to react in time". What do you think about 'overlook'? – Sergey Zolotarev Apr 2 at 11:15
  • "miss" means both to not notice something and to not do something about it. What more could you ask for? Overlook means to not notice something, but it does not suggest not doing something, other than by inference. – JavaLatte Apr 2 at 12:42

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