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

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 What is the difference between loose and pressed powder? Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 28 July 2022 Bradford, whose loose and dreamy canvases mean to evoke psychological states, was also recently featured at Harvard’s Carpenter Center for Visual Arts in a two-person show with Diedrick Brackens. BostonGlobe.com, 28 July 2022 Known for her digressions, her loose and twisted syntax, her preoccupation with concepts rather than scenes, with the arcane and heady rather than the quotidian, Tillman isn’t inclined to specificity. Anna Altman, The New Republic, 26 July 2022 The five episodes made available for review have a loose and casual charm. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 15 July 2022 Megan's hair was worn brushed away from her face and long and loose down her back with her baby hairs slicked down on her forehead. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 6 July 2022 Tilford told ABC News that residents shouldn't let their dogs loose in the backyard, especially during evening hours, as the toads are nocturnal. Kyla Guilfoil, ABC News, 30 June 2022 Its rear doors hung loose and open, and for a distance along the baking pavement several bodies lay dead in the roadway. New York Times, 28 June 2022 Shows were announced last minute and the vibe of the evening was extremely loose and informal, but the gigs were professionally recorded and several were filmed. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 27 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With each piñata crack of awkwardness, our pandemic PTSD let loose a little more. Matt Sullivan, Men's Health, 10 Aug. 2022 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Go for lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothes (something like a cotton or linen shirt). Korin Miller, SELF, 29 July 2022 This past month has seen her embrace everything from cheap tank tops to no-frills glassblowing clothes to a loose-fitting pair of jorts. André-naquian Wheeler, Vogue, 26 July 2022 While leggings are tried and true, a loose-fitting dress like this casual maxi from Anrabess is a must-have this summer. Sanah Faroke, PEOPLE.com, 17 July 2022 The briefing advised people to drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks inside or in the shade while outdoors and wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing. Mike Jones, Arkansas Online, 16 July 2022 Women in Iran are obliged to cover their hair with a veil, as well as wear loose-fitting garments to hide their body shapes. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 15 July 2022 To help air get to your skin so sweat evaporates and cools you, wear a lightweight, loose-fitting T-shirt made of a fabric that wicks away moisture (whether synthetic like polyester or natural like merino wool). Marty Munson, Men's Health, 11 July 2022 The heat could be dangerous, the weather service warns, so the agency encourages people to drink lots of water; wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing; and take frequent breaks out of the sun, preferably in air conditioning. Megan Rodriguez, San Antonio Express-News, 9 July 2022 Those who work or spend time outside should take extra precautions, such as rescheduling strenuous activities to early morning or evening, taking frequent breaks in the shade or air conditioning and wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, 4 July 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.

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

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Loose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loose. Accessed 15 Aug. 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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