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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Stewart's blonde hair was pulled up in a high ponytail with face-framing strands left out in loose waves. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 6 May 2022 Senior faceoff specialist Matt Narewski won 10-of-20 draws, picked up six ground balls, and scored once, and sophomore Tyler Dunn (Calvert Hall) won 5-of-6 and scooped up four loose balls. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 5 May 2022 But his value went far beyond the box score, bringing instant energy off the bench, doing little things, grabbing offensive rebounds, tipping passes, drawing charges, diving on the floor for loose balls. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 Simone finished off the ensemble with a pair of strappy pumps and pink nail polish, and wore her long, dark hair in loose waves. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 26 Apr. 2022 More of the same in the second half, diving, sliding, fighting for loose balls on both sides, but UConn slowly pulled away. Dom Amore, courant.com, 22 Mar. 2022 Her hair is worn in loose waves, and Princess Diana’s famous sapphire engagement ring is visible on her left hand. Elise Brisco, USA TODAY, 16 Mar. 2022 On Golden State’s next possession, Green and Looney set screens as Curry gets loose for another 3-pointer to make it 115-103. C.j. Holmes, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Mar. 2022 Meyer complemented Stewart in a white August Getty Atelier and Chanel ensemble, wearing her blonde hair in loose waves. ELLE, 14 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Maybe a week-long look in the mirror could jostle loose some new sense of hope heading into the season’s second half. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, 23 Oct. 2021 And in her final, climactic lines, Jesse’s mother lets loose her pain in a series of run-ons, making the formlessness of her constant grief at once visible and physical. Robert Rubsam, The New Republic, 24 Feb. 2022 Finding dead end streets, eating at random restaurants, observing the jacaranda trees loose their purple flowers. Gael Couturier, Outside Online, 27 Mar. 2019 But as Badr briefly lowered his hands in an apparent attempt to put his shoes on, one of the officers let loose a police dog, which sunk its teeth into Badr’s arm and continued to grip it for close to a minute, causing Badr to scream in agony. Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2022 By filling an energy meter, which replenishes automatically over time, Mario, or one of the gang, can let loose a power shot that can send a ball hurtling to the faraway green. Washington Post, 2 July 2021 When Minder explained the situation to his client, the man let loose a string of expletives. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 31 May 2021 Vast plumes of smoke and debris were thrown up into the air as US B-52 bombers and fighter jets let loose a seemingly endless barrage of missiles. James Griffiths, CNN, 15 May 2021 Most evergreens lose their previous year’s needles in the fall but some loose them in the spring and summer. oregonlive, 2 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Her Eurydice is wilder, more untethered, and Mitchell's exquisite lyricism gives her room to let loose. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 5 May 2022 While West was performing a show on his Saint Pablo Tour, the rapper addressed the tweets Cudi had let loose earlier that day. Megan Armstrong, Billboard, 19 Apr. 2022 When Irina Gen’s students in western Russia asked why a European sports competition had barred them from attending, the 55-year-old teacher let loose with a tirade against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2022 When Irina Gen’s students in western Russia asked why a European sports competition had barred them from attending, the 55-year-old teacher let loose with a tirade against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Jeanne Whalen, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Apr. 2022 Captive Burmese pythons let loose by Hurricane Andrew's destruction in 1992 have flourished in the southern Florida ecosystem, decimating local species in the process. Stephen Smith, CBS News, 16 Mar. 2022 Handling the ball 15 yards from the net, Beacham, who’s right-handed, let loose with a left-handed shot. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Mar. 2022 As a child, CityFair was always a fun place to let loose. oregonlive, 1 Mar. 2022 September 2021: Olivia Wilde dances at Harry Styles' concert Wilde, dressed in a loose-fitting baby blue suit, was seen dancing in the front row of Styles' concert at the MGM in Las Vegas in September. Nicole Briese, PEOPLE.com, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

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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Dictionary Entries Near loose

loopy

loose

loose accent

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Statistics for loose

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Loose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loose. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for loose

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

More from Merriam-Webster on loose

Nglish: Translation of loose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of loose for Arabic Speakers

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