fast and loose


Definition of fast and loose 

1 : in a reckless or irresponsible manner played fast and loose with the public purse strings— Paul Stuewe

2 : in a craftily deceitful way manipulated evidence … and played fast and loose with the truth— C. V. Woodward

Examples of fast and loose in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In the Wild West that is Silicon Valley, tech companies have long played fast and loose with users’ data. Grace Dobush, Fortune, "EU Regulators Have a New Plan to Keep Google and Facebook in Line: Regulate Them Like Traditional Telecoms," 5 July 2018 The absence of clear rules has led some companies to play fast and loose with securities laws, calculating that the profits will outweigh any potential punishment. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "The Ledger: The Risk for Crypto Firms of Playing by the Rules," 23 June 2018 Race 3, which like its two predecessors playing fast and loose with back story, tracks the exploits of an extended family of loveable arms dealers. Lisa Tsering, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Race 3': Film Review," 18 June 2018 But at the very least, diners should know the difference: To identify when a menu is playing fast and loose with the facts; and to appreciate when a restaurant shoulders the time and expense to acquire the real deal. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Dishonest menus: Diners, beware of 7 restaurant lies you may be swallowing right now," 13 June 2018 Taken together, the controversies are giving some lawmakers the impression Facebook is playing fast and loose with users' privacy — and could galvanize support for a legislative solution. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: Facebook controversies could spark support for privacy bills in Congress," 7 June 2018 Instagram The couple were first linked together at the end of May after Jonas was spotted by fans getting fast and loose with the Instagram likes on her pictures for months on end. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Priyanka Chopra Finally Made It Instagram Official With Nick Jonas," 28 June 2018 Charlie is a rather strange 13-year-old who cuts off pigeon's heads and plays fast and loose with her nut allergy., "The Annoying Thing That Is Ruining Hereditary For Everyone," 12 June 2018 Apostolina is dryly amusing as a strangely noble huckster who plays fast and loose with the law, while Nagle chills as a pedophilic pedant skilled in the art of self-justification. F. Kathleen Foley,, "In Atwater, a dark secret at the center of 'Forever Bound'," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fast and loose.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fast and loose

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

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The first known use of fast and loose was in 1580

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