loose

adjective
\ ˈlüs How to pronounce loose (audio) \
looser; loosest

Definition of loose

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : not rigidly fastened or securely attached loose planks in a bridge
b(1) : having worked partly free from attachments a loose tooth
(2) : having relative freedom of movement
c : produced freely and accompanied by raising of mucus a loose cough
d : not tight-fitting loose clothing
2a : free from a state of confinement, restraint, or obligation a lion loose in the streets spend loose funds wisely
b : not brought together in a bundle, container, or binding
c archaic : disconnected, detached
3a : not dense, close, or compact in structure or arrangement loose soil
b : not solid : watery loose stools
4a : lacking in restraint or power of restraint a loose tongue
b : lacking moral restraint : unchaste
c : overactive specifically : marked by frequent voiding especially of watery stools loose bowels
5a : not tightly drawn or stretched : slack a loose belt
b : being flexible or relaxed stay loose
6a : lacking in precision, exactness, or care loose brushwork loose usage
b : permitting freedom of interpretation a loose construction of the Constitution
7 : not in the possession of either of two competing teams a loose ball a loose puck

loose

verb
\ ˈlüs How to pronounce loose (audio) \
loosed; loosing

Definition of loose (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to let loose (see loose entry 1) : release loosed the dogs on the prowlers
b : to free from restraint
2 : to make loose : untie loose a knot
3 : to cast loose : detach loosed the boat from its moorings— George Eliot
4 : to let fly : discharge loosed a hail of bullets
5 : to make less rigid, tight, or strict : relax loosed his grip

intransitive verb

: to let fly a missile (such as an arrow) : fire

loose

adverb
\ ˈlüs How to pronounce loose (audio) \

Definition of loose (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a loose manner (see loose entry 1) : loosely

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Other Words from loose

Adjective

looseness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for loose

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of loose in a Sentence

Adjective Some of the shingles on the roof were loose. The rope was tied in a loose knot. The nails had been pried loose. Some of the shingles had come loose. The boat came loose from its moorings and floated out into the harbor. The ball popped loose from the shortstop's glove. loose reins on a horse She was wearing a loose dress. The dog was wandering loose in the streets. Verb The soldiers loosed a volley of rifle fire. the archers loosed a great volley of arrows at the foot soldiers charging towards them
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective As concerns of a killer on the loose mounted, police were inundated with calls from concerned parents. Glenn Ruppel, ABC News, "How a woman in Louisiana helped break the case of 5 student murders in Florida," 8 Apr. 2021 The Huskies stretched the lead to 3-1 at 2:40 of the second period when Hammer grabbed a loose puck after a Mavericks turnover along the boards and rifled a shot past McKay. Randy Johnson, Star Tribune, "St. Cloud State edges Minnesota State on last-minute goal at Frozen Four," 8 Apr. 2021 Erne, a second-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2013, scored his second this season against the Lightning, battling with Colton down low to find a loose puck and tuck it around a sprawling Vasilevskiy 4:00 into the third period. Erik Erlendsson, ajc, "Vasilevskiy 12-0 against Detroit, Lightning beat Wings 2-1," 3 Apr. 2021 There may be an Italian wine-loving thief on the loose in Russian Hill. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "Restaurant wining and dining is back in the Bay Area. But please don't BYOB," 1 Apr. 2021 Bernier was reaching for a loose puck when Patrik Nemeth crashed into him. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings lose Jonathan Bernier but Robby Fabbri hat trick gives them win streak," 19 Mar. 2021 Russian Hill may have an Italophile wine thief on the loose, say the owners of wine shops that have recently been targeted. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco may have a wine thief. And it looks like they're into fancy Italian bottles," 30 Mar. 2021 But claiming responsibility for the deadly attack underscores the organization’s ability to leverage loose ties with militant groups around the world to create the impression of a truly global struggle. Christina Goldbaum, New York Times, "ISIS Claims Responsibility for Mozambique Attack," 30 Mar. 2021 This feature – in addition to our loose shoulder girdle – makes humans the best throwers in the animal kingdom. Kiersten Formoso, The Conversation, "Godzilla vs. Kong: A functional morphologist uses science to pick a winner," 29 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The return of the Colts 2019 fifth-round pick will provide a boost to a secondary that could loose its top outside corner (Xavier Rhodes) and solid veteran T.J. Carrie in free agency in the coming days. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Source: Colts CB Marvell Tell intends to return to team after opting out in 2021," 17 Mar. 2021 Linebacker Cole Bullock ran onto the field waving to St. John Bosco players, then pulled off his helmet and let loose a scream in warmups. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "St. John Bosco dominates in second half to beat Sierra Canyon," 13 Mar. 2021 After the monthlong commissioning phase is over, the team will find a nearby, flat spot to loose the 1.8-kilogram Ingenuity helicopter, which survived the landing attached to the rover’s belly. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "After dramatic landing, Mars rover will probe ancient lake for clues to planet’s wet past," 23 Feb. 2021 Good advice for those who loose power and have generators. Dallas News, "What should I do if my power goes out?," 16 Feb. 2021 For the 28th and final time of the night – and one of the final times of his prep career – Autry dropped back, looked for an open receiver and let loose a prayer into the Bulldogs secondary. Mike Gegenheimer | Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "John Autry's prayer is answered; Slidell nips Fontainebleau, 21-20," 14 Nov. 2020 Tortured by an unseen enemy, the girls let loose a cacophony of ear-shattering screams, and no one, including me, could help. Elliott Hester, Los Angeles Times, "Parents need to know: When kids fly solo, flight attendants aren’t baby sitters," 5 Nov. 2020 Swanson let loose a booming kick that sent Covey back eight yards to the 23. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Britain Covey is key for the Utes, as a receiver and a return specialist," 22 Oct. 2020 Second, there is a much stronger consensus among economists now that loose monetary policy causes high inflation. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of August 31," 4 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Excessive movement in the 40-mph test meant the dummy was able to move too far forward again, but this time the steering wheel broke loose as the impact caused movement from the dashboard. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, "Watch These 12 Vehicles Score Poor Ratings During IIHS Crash Testing," 13 Apr. 2021 After seven straight losses to the American League champions, the Marlins broke loose with 14 hits, getting the better of their in-state rivals for the first time since July 21, 2018. Rick Menning, sun-sentinel.com, "Marlins, paced by torrid Marte, outslug Rays for first win," 3 Apr. 2021 Sophomore running back Darquel Sanders broke loose for a 68-yard TD run with 1:59 left in the third quarter to get the Wolves on the board. Paul Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "‘He’s mad at the world’: Matt Maldonado makes three field goals, including winner as time expires, to lift Yorkville past Oswego East," 3 Apr. 2021 For Persephone, the daffodil meant all hell broke loose. Kevin Fisher-paulson, San Francisco Chronicle, "Springtime in S.F. brings surprise flowers, hope," 2 Mar. 2021 State’s basketball team got its Aztecs kicked by Syracuse in the first round of the Tournament, and whatever wasn’t tied down in hell broke loose. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Too much expected out of Aztecs in tourney," 27 Mar. 2021 The 7-foot center broke loose on Thursday, though, overcoming first-half foul trouble to finish with 26 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah Runnin’ Utes fall to USC in double overtime, 91-85, in Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal," 12 Mar. 2021 The message came along with an adorable, old black and white picture of Jen leaning across her bathroom in loose-fitting jean shorts and a bikini top and kissing her own reflection in the mirror. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Jennifer Aniston Shares Words of Wisdom for the End of 2020," 19 Dec. 2020 There were plenty of loose-fitting, comfortable denim options at Gucci, Chloé, and even Balmain. Truc Nguyen, refinery29.com, "5 Fashion Trends That Might Get You Out Of Sweats This Fall," 24 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word '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 loose

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for loose

Adjective, Verb, and Adverb

Middle English lous, from Old Norse lauss; akin to Old High German lōs loose — more at -less

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Time Traveler for loose

Time Traveler

The first known use of loose was in the 13th century

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Statistics for loose

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Loose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loose. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for loose

loose

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of loose

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not tightly fastened, attached, or held
: not pulled or stretched tight
of clothing : not fitting close to your body : not tight

loose

verb

English Language Learners Definition of loose (Entry 2 of 3)

: to release or untie (an animal or person)
: to make (something) less tight
: to shoot or fire (something, such as an arrow or a bullet)

loose

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of loose (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a way that does not fit close to your body

loose

adjective
\ ˈlüs How to pronounce loose (audio) \
looser; loosest

Kids Definition of loose

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not tightly fixed or fastened a loose board
2 : not pulled tight a loose belt
3 : not tied up or shut in a loose horse
4 : not brought together in a bundle or binding loose sheets of paper
5 : having parts that are not held or squeezed tightly together loose gravel
6 : not exact or precise a loose translation

Other Words from loose

loosely adverb
looseness noun

loose

verb
loosed; loosing

Kids Definition of loose (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make less tight He loosed the knot.
2 : to set free They loosed the dogs.

loose

adjective
\ ˈlüs How to pronounce loose (audio) \
looser; loosest

Medical Definition of loose

1a : not rigidly fastened or securely attached
b(1) : having worked partly free from attachments a loose tooth
(2) : having relative freedom of movement
c : produced freely and accompanied by raising of mucus a loose cough
2a : not dense, close, or compact in structure or arrangement loose connective tissue
b : not solid : watery loose stools
3 : overactive specifically : marked by frequent voiding especially of watery stools loose bowels
4 : not tightly drawn or stretched loose skin

Other Words from loose

loosely adverb
looseness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on loose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for loose

Nglish: Translation of loose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of loose for Arabic Speakers

Comments on loose

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