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 The spay-neuter surge was among the Boston Consulting Group’s 2016 recommendations to combat the loose-dog epidemic. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "3 years ago, Dallas launched a huge spay-neuter surge to fight the loose-dog crisis. Now the results are in," 19 Feb. 2020 The genre started roughly a decade ago among a loose network of artists who repurposed last-century drum machines and samples for its signature mellow sound. Steven Johnson, Washington Post, "How lo-fi artists make music perfect for work. (Or studying. Or chilling.)," 19 Feb. 2020 Other networks, like the ones used by the perpetrator of Christchurch and the attack in Halle, Germany last October, had looser structures. Madeline Roache, Time, "This Researcher Juggled Five Different Identities to Go Undercover With Far-Right and Islamist Extremists. Here's What She Found," 18 Feb. 2020 New England recovered the loose football at its 4-yard line during a 27-13 victory on Oct. 27. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "State players dot NFL’s top 100 plays of 2019," 18 Feb. 2020 While the engine is barely changed, the cars themselves are much looser interpretations of the production NSX,, and the insides look more like a science fair project than a production NSX. Eric Adams, Wired, "How a Street-Smart Supercar Got Ready for the Racetrack," 17 Feb. 2020 The left blamed markets for the 2008 panic and crash—not failed government regulation, subsidies for bad housing risks, or too loose monetary policy. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Agony of the Democrats," 14 Feb. 2020 More and more garments are made of polyester and synthetic fibers, but those fibers come loose in the washing machine and eventually make their way into the ocean and the diets of marine life (and possibly humans). Lou Mazzante, Popular Mechanics, "All the New Tech That Will Transform Outdoor Gear in 2020," 14 Feb. 2020 But the second nine was marred by a series of loose shots, including a few drives to the left that forced him to scramble to save pars. Adam Schupak, Golfweek, "Tiger Woods simmers after strong start to Genesis Invitational," 13 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As Parker and Barrow appeared, officers let loose a hail of bullets, killing both. Fox News, "The 5 most famous manhunts in US history," 6 Feb. 2020 Plus, widely available standard .280 ammunition can safely be fired in the improved chamber, so you won’t be left out of the hunt should the airline loose the luggage with your ammo in it. Field & Stream, "The 12 Best Cartridges for Elk Hunting," 10 May 2019 Another let loose a spray from a fire extinguisher, while another disarmed the attacker and ran with the knife down the bridge. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, "One of the men who stopped the London Bridge terrorist is a convicted murderer," 30 Nov. 2019 Maybe his most impressive throw came with the score already 21–0 and Baltimore driving once again into Miami territory, when Jackson loosed a deep pass with a snap of his wrist. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "Lamar Jackson and the NFL’s Quarterback Double Standard," 20 Sep. 2019 In the short-term, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts 688,000 adults will loose their benefits when the rule goes into effect on April 1, 2020. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "How Trump's New Food Stamp Rule Could Impact Nearly 700,000 Vulnerable Americans," 6 Dec. 2019 LaVine picked up the ball, sprinted behind the 3-point line on the right wing and let loose the winning shot with less than a second remaining. chicagotribune.com, "Zach LaVine’s team-record 13th 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left gives the Bulls a crazy 116-115 win over the Hornets," 23 Nov. 2019 The United Cities of America seeks to reunite the country, which has been decimated by the Death Stranding, many mysterious explosions that have loosed supernatural ghost-like creatures called BTs. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Will 'Death Stranding,' a mysterious game about building connections, connect with gamers?," 9 Nov. 2019 Gregus will let loose a distinct laugh often and will give Metanire a hard time whenever. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Called ‘underrated,’ Loons midfielder Jan Gregus proves his value," 28 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The more than 2,000 pages of documents, pried loose after a three-year public records battle, reveal that presidents, generals and diplomats have misled the public about the conflict for nearly two decades. oregonlive, "The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Shane Dixon Kavanaugh named Goldsmith Prize finalist," 5 Feb. 2020 Congress OK’d over $56 million in federal relief in 2017, but the authorization to cut the money loose languished on desks in D.C. for over two years. Anchorage Daily News, "Federal cash should soon be in hand for Alaska fishermen, processors and towns hurt by the 2016 pink salmon failure," 21 Jan. 2020 About two sentences into his speech, Tipping Point Community founder Daniel Lurie let loose a few, brief waterworks Dec. 13 in the St. Regis ballroom. Catherine Bigelow, SFChronicle.com, "Tipping Point’s top men: Sam Cobbs and Daniel Lurie," 20 Dec. 2019 Penny broke loose up the middle in the fourth for his longest career run to give the Seahawks a 17-3 lead. BostonGlobe.com, "‘‘I thought we had a good week of preparation. Guys were focused,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “That was no indication of the performance today.’’," 25 Nov. 2019 Then, on the ensuing kickoff, the ball rolled loose down to the Jemison 4, and Huntsville recovered it. al, "Huntsville rallies, gets past Mae Jemison," 31 Aug. 2019 And when the 4449 gets out steaming on the public lines, people line up by the hundreds to get a photo … or just to see a big, vintage engine let loose in the wild. Tom Bentley, Popular Mechanics, "Why the SP 4449 Is Such a Badass Train," 15 July 2019 The Lions broke loose from a first-quarter tie to take a commanding 92-65 win over Astoria, Oregon, their third straight romp in as many games. Anchorage Daily News, "ACS girls, Unalaska girls prevail at prep basketball tourneys," 5 Jan. 2020 The array of snoopers Brooks and Rena set loose soon discover — surprise, surprise — that Upton’s personal life has not been (and isn’t currently) all that simple. Richard Lipez, Washington Post, "Set during presidential primary season, ‘Oppo’ is about as timely as political thrillers come," 17 Dec. 2019

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

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Loose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loose. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for loose

loose

adjective
How to pronounce loose (audio)

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
How to pronounce loose (audio)

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
How to pronounce loose (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with loose

Spanish Central: Translation of loose

Nglish: Translation of loose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of loose for Arabic Speakers

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