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 On the other, the Satires and Epistles, loose, talky poems written, like the Ars, in dactylic hexameter. Gregory Hays, The New York Review of Books, "Horace’s How-To," 27 May 2020 Bucks started swinging their heads erratically, as if trying to shake something loose. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "The U.S. Is Spending Millions of Dollars Rearing Flesh-Eating Worms," 26 May 2020 The scandal has consumed the British news media for days, and most prime ministers might have cut Mr. Cummings loose by now. Isabella Kwai, New York Times, "Coronavirus, Russia, Dominic Cummings: Your Tuesday Briefing," 26 May 2020 Restrictions in Japan’s most populous metro area, already loose compared to some other major global cities, could be eased as early as next week if the national government lifts the state of emergency on Tokyo on Monday. Gearoid Reidy, Bloomberg.com, "Tokyo Bars Can Stay Open Until 10 Under Governor’s Exit Roadmap," 26 May 2020 But the team quickly pivoted their plan to convert the flowers into bud vases and loose flowers to give out to the nurses, doctors and other health care workers passing by. Alicia Lee, CNN, "A floral designer is beautifying the streets of New York with elaborate displays for health care workers," 24 May 2020 In this pre-spawn period, the bluegills suspended in loose schools in the shallows. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Shore fishing for bluegills takes on a new shine," 23 May 2020 Marek wanted stricter controls on dogs running loose in the park, but dog owners felt otherwise. Carl Nolte, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco’s Holly Park, a marvelous cure for cabin fever," 23 May 2020 Jela Latham, a senior at Ohio University, made sure to nab a loose brick on her way out of Athens, Ohio, in March. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Less pomp, given circumstance: Students grapple with virtual graduations," 21 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The nine planes flew in formation above the River Thames and let loose their red, white and blue smoke to mark the colors of the Union Jack. Fox News, "Europe marks VE Day anniversary in low-key fashion due to coronavirus lockdown," 9 May 2020 Under the right conditions, that moisture will form clouds, which may eventually let loose some rain. John Kennedy, Popular Science, "Stay-at-home science project: Whip up a storm in a glass," 27 Apr. 2020 Another woman bent down, pretending to be a micro wrestler while letting loose a howling laugh. Washington Post, "Inside the world of micro wrestlers living their dreams," 1 Mar. 2020 Harris had a drive-ending sack on third-and-8, Tavon Wilson laid a big hit on Jones to knock loose a pass in the fourth quarter, and Tracy Walker had two pass breakups, including one on a pass to Graham in the end zone that forced a field goal. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions grades: Why Matt Patricia gets an A-minus after ninth straight loss," 29 Dec. 2019 Those who rented a luxury cottage on the grounds were treated to loose late-night jam sessions that kicked off at midnight with the Texas Gentlemen. Cathy Applefeld Olson, Billboard, "Inaugural Revival Fest Brings Small-Scale Luxury Concert Experience to Austin," 14 Mar. 2019 After a pause, the group let loose a flurry of questions: Had the roommate been tested? Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica, "Now That Coronavirus Is Inside This Adult Home for the Elderly or Mentally Ill, It May Be Impossible to Stop," 2 Apr. 2020 In the park, Ms. Figueroa let loose the fun-loving side that prompted her Berkeley wedding crash. New York Times, "Never Underestimate the Value of Crashing a Wedding," 8 Feb. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb But the three-time All-Star broke loose by reaching base in his first four trips to the plate during a 3-for-4 performance. Steve Overbey, The Denver Post, "Rockies roughed up as Cardinals sweep Colorado in St. Louis," 25 Aug. 2019 Early in the season, Corbin approached opening the same way a starting pitcher would, warming up 30 minutes before the game and then trying to get his arm loose before taking the mound. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "UIndy baseball embraces analytics, using opener to jumpstart shortened season," 10 May 2020 The double Ferris wheel broke loose and all the maintenance men had to hang onto the lower wheel to remove the terrified guests. Susan Glaser, cleveland, "Thanks for the memories, Cedar Point: Readers recall their favorite park moments," 3 May 2020 In May 2018, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano let loose its largest eruption in 200 years, spewing plumes of ash high into the air, and covering hundreds of homes in lava, according to Science magazine. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Heavy rain triggered the 2018 eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, study suggests," 23 Apr. 2020 In May 2018, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano let loose its largest eruption in 200 years, spewing plumes of ash high into the air, and covering hundreds of homes in lava. Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, Science | AAAS, "Did heavy rains trigger the eruption of the most dangerous U.S. volcano? Scientists are skeptical," 22 Apr. 2020 All hell broke loose, and Will barked for his youngest son to get out of the room. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan State football's Dowell brothers hope to push each other, now into NFL," 24 Apr. 2020 All hell broke loose in a coronavirus quarantine site in the Pakistani city of Sukkur last week. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Pakistan's blame game shifts to Iran as coronavirus cases surge," 1 Apr. 2020 On a third-and-5 situation in the second quarter, Fields broke loose for a 35-yard run. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "How Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields recovered from a shaky start against Michigan State," 6 Oct. 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

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Loose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loose. Accessed 2 Jun. 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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