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 Sultani measures carefully while Faragallah plays fast and loose. oregonlive, "A father-son video call yields refreshing pandemic theater: ‘This is Who I Am’ review," 14 Dec. 2020 Few businesses want to be branded as playing fast and loose with coronavirus regulations. Christina Tkacik,, "Maryland Gov. Hogan called on counties to ‘step up’ coronavirus enforcement. But the process is complicated.," 10 Nov. 2020 Trump again played fast and loose with them, something CNN fact-checker extraordinaire Daniel Dale pointed out. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "'A more normal debate': How CNN, Fox and NBC covered Trump-Biden highlights and lowlights," 23 Oct. 2020 Some media organizations have high standards for fact-checking and editing and ethics, while others play fast and loose. Star Tribune, "Q&A with Star Tribune copy editor Amy Kuebelbeck," 12 Feb. 2020 Google is playing fast and loose with the whole idea of search engine, making sure the simplest and easiest-to-access results are either paid ads, or information that keeps you on Google. Washington Post, "How does Google’s monopoly hurt you? Try these searches.," 19 Oct. 2020 Arguments were made during the segment that played fast and loose with the facts; the claim, for example, that 38 million people live in poverty. Ed Conard, National Review, "Waking Up to a Misleading Inequality Report on the Sunday Morning News," 16 Sep. 2020 Sean had already been worked on a bit before the merge, since the first season was a bit fast and loose with contestant interaction at the challenges. Dalton Ross,, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Joel Klug says there was producer manipulation on Borneo," 19 Aug. 2020 Peters also notes many jewelers trying to capitalize on the trend played a bit fast and loose with the sources for their hair weavings. Katy Kelleher, Longreads, "The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Lockets," 10 Aug. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of fast and loose

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fast and loose

Time Traveler for fast and loose

Time Traveler

The first known use of fast and loose was in 1580

See more words from the same year

Statistics for fast and loose

Last Updated

21 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fast and loose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

Comments on fast and loose

What made you want to look up fast and loose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!