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

Police say the incident happened on Sept. 17 in the city’s Bronx borough and, as of Friday, the suspects were still on the loose. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Video shows New York City men shooting at father who was walking with 3-year-old daughter," 28 Sep. 2018 After so much heat styling, though, my curls look more like loose waves. Angela Rye, Glamour, "CNN Commentator Angela Rye’s On-Air Hair Is an Act of Resistance," 24 Sep. 2018 Place any florets that break loose in a mixing bowl. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "Cook’s Trick: Go Ahead and Overdo It," 7 Sep. 2018 West, 41, also opted for a low-key look, wearing a baggy T-shirt with a pair of loose-fitting pants and sneakers. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Kim Kardashian & Kanye West Return from Lakeside Getaway for 'Happy' Date Night in Malibu: Source," 7 July 2018 The sensation honestly gets lost with those traditional controllers in a big, loose-fitting pocket. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Lumines Remastered turns the Nintendo Switch into a full-body vibration party," 26 June 2018 Meghan was spotted at the fancy wedding in Lincolnshire wearing a $5,490 loose-fitting floral wrap dress by Oscar De La Renta and a white fascinator — both of which she had never been seen in public wearing before. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Meghan Markle Reportedly Re-wears Her Wedding Shoes to Someone Else’s Wedding," 18 June 2018 These days, many Muslim women in Indonesia have abandoned the kebaya, the lacy, body-hugging blouse paired with a sarong that is Indonesia’s national dress for women, for looser-fitting garments. New York Times, "A ‘Little Bit of a Nut Case’ Who’s Taking On China," 8 June 2018 Next, add loose soft waves and bends throughout the hair with the ghd Gold Styler ($155; amazon.com), angling the iron vertically for an elongated wave. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "The Secret to Kate Middleton’s Shiny Royal Wedding Hair," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

When conditions allowed, Zabel could perform urgent repairs, such as fixing a screw that came loose in the thermal system. Elizabeth Howell, Space.com, "Antarctica Greenhouse Produces Cucumbers, Tomatoes and More in Mars-Like Test," 24 Sep. 2018 About 45 miles away, in Lumberton, N.C., all hell broke loose. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "I Drove a Pickup Full of Supplies to a Town Flooded by Florence, and Here Is What I Saw," 25 Sep. 2018 The Lilac Fire ripped through a popular Bonsall horse training facility, forcing trainers to release hundreds of thoroughbreds who ran loose through the facility as their barns burned to the ground. Bryce Miller, sandiegouniontribune.com, "NBC to shine huge Kentucky Derby spotlight on San Diego," 2 May 2018 Officers were working early Friday to corral other cattle that were running loose near the crash site. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "'40 to 50' cattle dead after truck overturns in Harrisonville, snarling I-49 traffic | The Kansas City Star," 27 Apr. 2018 Hugo, let loose, ran toward the fallen bird and passed it. Author: Christine Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "Two dogs, hunting by their own set of rules," 10 Apr. 2018 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

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

29 Nov 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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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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