verb loos·en \ˈlü-sən\

: to make (something) less tight or firm : to make (something) loose or looser

: to become less tight or firm : to become loose or looser

: to become or to cause (something) to become less strict

loos·enedloos·en·ing \ˈlüs-niŋ, ˈlü-sən-iŋ\

Full Definition of LOOSEN

transitive verb
:  to release from restraint
:  to make looser <loosened his tie> <loosen a screw>
:  to relieve (the bowels) of constipation
:  to cause or permit to become less strict —often used with up <loosened the rules>
intransitive verb
:  to become loose or looser

Examples of LOOSEN

  1. He used a spade to loosen the soil.
  2. She loosened the cake from the sides of the pan.
  3. After eating so much I had to loosen my belt.
  4. When the meeting was over he loosened his tie.
  5. One of the screws had loosened a bit and had to be tightened.
  6. Each generation seems to loosen the established standards of behavior.
  7. Standards of behavior seem to be loosening everywhere.

First Known Use of LOOSEN

14th century

Related to LOOSEN

LOOSENING Defined for Kids


verb loos·en \ˈlü-sən\

Definition of LOOSEN for Kids

:  to make or become less tight or firmly fixed <Can you loosen this screw?> <His grip loosened.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: loosenerPrevious Word in the Dictionary: loose milkAll Words Near: loosen
July 06, 2015
categorical Hear it
absolute or relating to a category
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears