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

loosely adverb
looseness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for loose

Synonyms: Adjective

insecure, lax, loosened, relaxed, slack, slackened, unsecured

Synonyms: Verb

blast, discharge, fire, shoot, squeeze off

Antonyms: Adjective

taut, tense, tight

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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

Get our daily newsletter Central bankers have defended their policies by arguing that, without loose money, unemployment would have been much higher, badly hurting the poor. The Economist, "Should egalitarians fear low interest rates?," 9 July 2019 If your company culture is loose and fun-loving, keeping people accountable doesn't have to be stiff and formal. Tom Cooney And Crystal Faulkner, Cincinnati.com, "BusinessWise: Accountability can enhance company culture," 8 July 2019 Its tropes come loose from the commercial products or underground publications and appear in literature, journalism, public discourse—and feminist polemic. Elaine Blair, The New York Review of Books, "Fighting for Her Life," 17 June 2019 This is why women’s soccer jerseys are looser and longer on the upper arm, with a lower crew neck that can fit over a ponytail. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "How “soccer girl” became the indisputably coolest look," 14 June 2019 Not least of which is the loose and conversational style of the show’s new director, Andrea Arnold (American Honey, Fish Tank) who replaces season 1 director Jean Marc Vallé (Sharp Objects). Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, "Big Little Lies," 10 June 2019 Bees swarm the air as Pech quickly pries the honeycomb loose and transfers it into a larger log. Nina Strochlic, National Geographic, "An unlikely feud between beekeepers and Mennonites simmers in Mexico," 12 Apr. 2019 But Wilks soldiers on with an inconsistent rookie at quarterback, a one-time All-Pro running back who never broke loose and an extremely popular wide receiver nearing the end of a spectacular career. Bob Baum, The Seattle Times, "Wilks even-keeled in what could be last week as Cards coach," 24 Dec. 2018 Reilly Bergin Wilson, of play:groundNYC, says there’s something wonderful about working with loose and inexpensive materials. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "How not to cheat children: Let them build their own playgrounds," 18 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Emma delivers a passionless, matter-of-fact speech about how Monarch's monsters must be loosed and allowed to wipe out major metropolitan centers, because the radiation spewed by the monsters is... ecologically restorative? Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," 31 May 2019 Pres Trump thinks loosing 3,000 lives is a success. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Trump calls Hurricane Florence 'bigger than anticipated,' tells residents to 'get out of its way'," 12 Sep. 2018 According to scientists, a poison arrow in the quiver may let loose a very sticky nether-region massacre. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Poison arrows inspire new male contraceptive, scientists report," 21 Jan. 2018 This column has long maintained that a high-level Russian criminal conspiracy is the one thing investigators won’t find when loosed on Mr. Trump’s colorful business and personal history. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Interpreting the Trump Meteor," 18 Dec. 2018 The authorities allegedly forced the believers to sign the forms or risk being expelled from school or loosing welfare benefits. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Chinese officials burn bibles, close churches, force Christian to denounce faith amid 'escalating' crackdown," 10 Sep. 2018 For those who are upset about the sculpture loosing its prime location, no need to worry. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Tourist magnet ‘I Amsterdam’ sign has been removed," 6 Dec. 2018 Could loose individual parts come together to form a stable yet evolving whole? Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Robots built this wild plastic pavilion," 28 Sep. 2018 Araya loosed an inhuman scream that sounded like he’d been shocked by 10,000 volts, cast in shadow by the flames licking the sky on either side of him. Bryan Rolli, Billboard, "Slayer Close Out First Leg of Farewell Tour with Blistering, Career-Spanning Austin Performance," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

England celebrated, players started to amble back to the halfway line, then a replay of the goal popped up on the big screen and all hell broke loose. SI.com, "England Win Over Cameroon Marred by Both Indomitable Lionesses' Antics AND the Reaction to Them," 23 June 2019 This morning at Bletchley Park’s D-Day celebrations, Kate Middleton let loose in a polka dot dress by Alessandra Rich with a playful slit. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Even Royals Can’t Resist a Spring Skin Reveal," 14 May 2019 Those looking to let loose will love the Boiler Room's lively atmosphere. Kara Thompson, Town & Country, "T&C Travel Guide: Winter In Cape May, New Jersey," 10 Dec. 2018 From there, the researchers mashed the results within the two cultural groups and let loose assembled facial models for orgasm and pained faces. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "How orgasm faces differ between people from Eastern and Western cultures," 9 Oct. 2018 But during a recent royal visit to Ireland, the younger royal let loose—unfortunately at the expense of his father, Prince Charles. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Made a Savage Joke About His Dad and We All Missed It," 11 July 2018 Crazy is an unstable element that when let loose in an unstable environment, explodes. NBC News, "Meet the Press - March 11, 2018," 11 Mar. 2018 Because the ball came loose, the play was initially ruled incomplete. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks Play of the Week: Lions game was won on the strength of one-on-one battles like this one," 30 Oct. 2018 Another is the fact that fasteners designed to hold Webb’s sunshield cover in place were incorrectly installed and came loose during late-stage testing. Karen Kaplan, latimes.com, "If NASA can overcome human error and other problems, its James Webb Space Telescope may finally launch in 2021," 27 June 2018

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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Statistics for loose

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for loose

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with loose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for loose

Spanish Central: Translation of loose

Nglish: Translation of loose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of loose for Arabic Speakers

Comments on loose

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