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Defects in gate oxide cause breakdown and shorten device lifetime. Early works mainly focused on generation process that converts a precursor into a charged defect. Although it can be neutralized through “recovery,” the defect is still there and will recharge when resuming stress. Recently, we have shown that this is not always the case and some defects can be lost, but a detailed investigation is missing. The central objective of this work is to accurately define and extract the loss, separate it from slowdown, and evaluate their enhancement of device lifetime. Loss is defined as elimination of defects, while slowdown means that recharging a “hardened” precursor takes longer than charging a fresh one. Clear evidences show that losses originate from permanent components, i.e., generated interface states and antineutralization positive charges, while slowdown occurs to both permanent and recoverable components. Loss is thermally accelerated, but slowdown of recoverable component is not. This improved understanding adds slowdown and losses to the existing framework for defects. For the first time, we report that the losses and slowdown enhance device lifetime by a factor of 2.6-4.3, for an allowed threshold voltage shift of 20-45 mV.