loose

adjective
\ˈlüs \
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 \
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 \

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

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

There’s a similar reticence to cut loose for a few other songs that could use it. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "A Highly Entertaining, Energetic 'In the Heights' At Playhouse On Park," 18 June 2018 No one knows how to cut loose and have a good time in the offseason quite like New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who recently crashed a bachelor party dressed as a leprechaun, had a dance battle with Shaq in Miami, and fired a minigun. Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Watch this delightful supercut of Gronk being Gronk," 15 May 2018 But this record possesses the feeling of an artist cutting loose all concerns. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Jason Eady is a happy man, and one of country music’s unheralded talents," 11 July 2018 Worn loose, more like a necklace, a bolo makes an event out of an otherwise simple look. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "Bolo Ties and Neck Wallets," 10 July 2018 The best exit, by and away, was a crystal chain link dress cut loose, the way a woman might repurpose a man’s oversize tee. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Redemption Takes on Rock 'n' Roll at Its Parisian Couture Show," 9 July 2018 Clark Wade/IndyStar Going into free agency, Pacers president Kevin Pritchard believed there would be an active trade market and anticipated some gems could shake loose. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Despite slow trade market, Pacers shake up roster while keeping options open for 2019," 6 July 2018 Opponents argue that requirement should be changed rather than the service completely privatized, which is akin to cutting it loose completely. Edward Mckinley, kansascity, "As Trump pushes to privatize the troubled Postal Service, others push back," 5 July 2018 Instead of swapping dirty samples for clean urine in the dead of night, emails and lab records provided by doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov describe a looser, more informal system. James Ellingworth, The Seattle Times, "Russia tries to shake off doping scandals at World Cup," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To extract the spider, one poured water that loosed the web and the spider was extracted along with the web. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "Essential California: Trump's immigration flip," 21 June 2018 No, this race was another example of the kind of cultural innovation that California occasionally looses upon an unsuspecting America, like smartphones and fancy toast. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Elections Don’t Work at All. You Can Blame the Math," 6 June 2018 When the dictators lost their grips, countries across the region imploded, loosing savagery and suffering that still burns on. Dexter Filkins, New York Times, "Why Libya Continues to Burn," 18 May 2018 Sky Sports have also reported that Brentford are resigned to loosing Bjelland and are already searching for a replacement for the defender. SI.com, "Brentford Star Set to Reject New Contract in Favour of Move to Premier League," 29 Apr. 2018 The arrows loosed from the back of a 1,500-pound horse at a break-neck pace find their mark, although in the case of the South Texas Archery Riders event at the historic Herman Brune Ranch, foam and not flesh are punctured with regularity. Ralph Winingham, San Antonio Express-News, "Ancient martial art combines horseback riding, archery skills," 24 May 2018 Sometimes, the public is fearful, because loosing new technology on public streets can be frightening. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "The Never-Ending Self-Driving Car Project," 8 Apr. 2018 Louisville Courier Journal The thousands of bourbon barrels sent toppling to the ground in the collapse of the second half of a Barton 1792 distillery warehouse this week in Bardstown let loose a flood of Kentucky's signature spirit. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Barton 1792 spill filled big bourbon ponds with thousands of gallons," 6 July 2018 Speed Retrieve is a drag race: An owner must loose the dog at just the right moment. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "This Whippet Is One of the World's Great Athletes," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

As the car slid across the apron and adjacent grassy areas, its left front was damaged, and its hood almost broke loose from the car. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Erik Jones scores first career NASCAR Cup win in wreck fest at Daytona," 7 July 2018 The screams play out across scenes — time and space are meager anchors for the totality of emotion that shakes the world of this film loose from the eyes of any benign presence. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Hereditary' Is Dividing Audiences," 10 June 2018 Be a kid and splash in the fountain at Dilworth Park Harness your inner youth and let loose at Dilworth Park, where an expansive fountain shoots up rows of three-foot-high water spouts. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "6 cool ways to get out of the heat this summer in Philadelphia," 3 July 2018 Iman is posing alongside a serene backdrop in a comfy-looking white chair, showing off her belly in a lace white bikini while her long dark hair hangs loose. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Pregnant Chanel Iman Shows Off Her Belly in a White Lace Bikini: 'Grow Baby Bump Grow'," 4 June 2018 So many influential playoff teams — notably Boston, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Utah and New Orleans — turned loose an up-tempo attack that relies on ball movement and will gladly feature two-point shooting when the opportunities arrive. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors-Cavs, Round 4: Good riddance to Rockets — and bring on LeBron," 29 May 2018 A few bricks, knocked loose, fell as the truck was removed but the wall remained standing. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "No injuries in early-morning truck crash into building at Lochearn shopping center," 25 Apr. 2018 Another hopeful moment shook loose on a wild pitch from Middleton. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Astros held scoreless in loss to Angels," 23 Apr. 2018 Someone had shaken loose all the sins and no one knew the way out of the storm. Jeffrey Fleishman, latimes.com, "Rage and wonder in 1968: The year war came through the TV and I felt pieces of childhood ending," 20 Apr. 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

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

Verb

see loose entry 1

Adverb

see loose entry 1

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Statistics for loose

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

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 \
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 \
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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Comments on loose

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