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 The culture and politics in California were supposed too extreme for human life, also — from loose morals in San Francisco to business-crushing taxes and regulations out of Sacramento. Kyle Whitmire, al, "Whitmire: Stop with the California comparisons, Kay Ivey," 27 Mar. 2020 If let loose, those germs may also land on nearby surfaces: a countertop, table, light switch or door knob, for example. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Family clusters: A common pattern for how the coronavirus spreads," 5 Mar. 2020 So let loose, be confident, and most importantly, BE YOURSELF! Yolis Arroyo, Seventeen, "Your Guide to Making New Friends This School Year," 17 Jan. 2020 Surgical masks are not intended to prevent us from getting a viral infection, Dr. Schaffner said; most of them are too loose to be effective. Dani Blum, New York Times, "Don’t Fall for These Myths About Coronavirus," 17 Mar. 2020 Many of Saint Haven’s designs are intended to be snug, though a couple styles, like the relaxed pants and T-shirt dress, have a looser, body-skimming fit. Alexandra Ilyashov, Glamour, "The Best Sleepwear for Dealing With Night Sweats," 16 Mar. 2020 Ducks playing loose, perhaps a bit too much so offensively. oregonlive, "Rewinding Oregon Ducks’ 90-56 win over Cal Bears," 5 Mar. 2020 But if its criteria for detecting violations and taking action is too loose, other users will be victimized and the company itself could find itself at the center of another public relations debacle. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Meet the A.I. that helped Facebook remove billions of fake accounts," 4 Mar. 2020 In Putnam County, 80 miles east of Nashville, trees, vehicles, and other loose, heavy items had completely flattened houses and businesses. Kimberlee Kruesi, BostonGlobe.com, "Tornadoes devastate Tennessee, killing at least 25 people," 3 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Plus, widely available standard .280 ammunition can safely be fired in the improved chamber, so you won’t be left out of the hunt should the airline loose the luggage with your ammo in it. Field & Stream, "The 12 Best Cartridges for Elk Hunting," 10 May 2019 Another let loose a spray from a fire extinguisher, while another disarmed the attacker and ran with the knife down the bridge. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, "One of the men who stopped the London Bridge terrorist is a convicted murderer," 30 Nov. 2019 Maybe his most impressive throw came with the score already 21–0 and Baltimore driving once again into Miami territory, when Jackson loosed a deep pass with a snap of his wrist. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "Lamar Jackson and the NFL’s Quarterback Double Standard," 20 Sep. 2019 In the short-term, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts 688,000 adults will loose their benefits when the rule goes into effect on April 1, 2020. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "How Trump's New Food Stamp Rule Could Impact Nearly 700,000 Vulnerable Americans," 6 Dec. 2019 LaVine picked up the ball, sprinted behind the 3-point line on the right wing and let loose the winning shot with less than a second remaining. chicagotribune.com, "Zach LaVine’s team-record 13th 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left gives the Bulls a crazy 116-115 win over the Hornets," 23 Nov. 2019 The United Cities of America seeks to reunite the country, which has been decimated by the Death Stranding, many mysterious explosions that have loosed supernatural ghost-like creatures called BTs. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Will 'Death Stranding,' a mysterious game about building connections, connect with gamers?," 9 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb 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 Up to 50 lions are roaming loose within walking distance of a South African town – and authorities have decided to keep it this way. Fox News, "Dozens of lions free to roam free near South African town: 'You don't really go jogging or riding a bicycle here'," 14 June 2019 All hell broke loose on the dramatic finale of The Bachelor season 24. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Madison Prewett’s Dad Takes The High Road In His First Statement About Bachelor Drama," 11 Mar. 2020 Officials originally ruled that Samuel fumbled at the end of a reverse, but the call was reversed when replays showed Samuel’s knee was down (barely) before the ball came loose. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "49ers’ Garoppolo spreads ball around, SF takes 14-10 halftime lead on Vikings," 11 Jan. 2020 No, doctors didn’t bang the boy's head against a wall until the bottle came loose, thankfully. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "The Brilliant Hack Doctors Used to Free a Kid's Tongue from a Bottle," 1 Nov. 2019 Duke players charged out of the pile in celebration, but a review determined that Perkins had broken the plane of the end zone before the ball came loose, giving the Cavaliers a 17-0 lead. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Perkins, defense lead Virginia in 48-14 rout of Duke," 19 Oct. 2019 Boats also came loose from their moorings in Scituate Harbor. BostonGlobe.com, "High winds knock down trees and power lines; hangar at Logan Airport damaged - The Boston Globe," 18 Oct. 2019 Nor is that the only part of the union that is coming loose. The Economist, "Any deal struck between Britain and the EU should be put to voters," 17 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

4 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Loose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loose. Accessed 6 Apr. 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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