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 Favors gets the rebound out of sheer effort, attacking the rim and poking the ball away from Zubac, then hustling to get the loose ball. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 June 2021 Dupere saw Everett was struggling to locate the loose ball and kept hoofing it around third base. Tom Murphy, Arkansas Online, 5 June 2021 James would soon join Davis on the sidelines, Solomon Hill diving for a loose ball and taking out James’ legs instead, his screams echoing through the empty Staples Center. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 4 June 2021 Seconds later, the Rapids doubled their lead as Barrios headed a loose ball into the path of Auston Trusty, whose shot was stopped by Maurer before striking Tanner Tessmann and rolling into the empty net. Dallas News, 30 May 2021 In a boys’ lacrosse battle between two of the top teams in the state, every loose ball presents an opportunity to gain an edge. BostonGlobe.com, 30 May 2021 After Pidding’s 12th goal, the Nighthawks got insurance in the 43rd minute when Espinoza collected a loose ball in front and powered home her fourth goal of the year. Jim Lindgren, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 May 2021 The Nuggets star center was sprawled on the court fighting for a loose ball with the Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic early in the first quarter. oregonlive, 24 May 2021 Griffin grabbed a loose ball out of the air and in one motion threw it behind his back ahead to Irving, who passed it ahead to James. Brian Mahoney, Star Tribune, 16 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 The return of the Colts 2019 fifth-round pick will provide a boost to a secondary that could loose its top outside corner (Xavier Rhodes) and solid veteran T.J. Carrie in free agency in the coming days. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, 17 Mar. 2021 Linebacker Cole Bullock ran onto the field waving to St. John Bosco players, then pulled off his helmet and let loose a scream in warmups. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2021 After the monthlong commissioning phase is over, the team will find a nearby, flat spot to loose the 1.8-kilogram Ingenuity helicopter, which survived the landing attached to the rover’s belly. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 23 Feb. 2021 Good advice for those who loose power and have generators. Dallas News, 16 Feb. 2021 For the 28th and final time of the night – and one of the final times of his prep career – Autry dropped back, looked for an open receiver and let loose a prayer into the Bulldogs secondary. Mike Gegenheimer | Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, 14 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Rewinding to the opening minute, Lynx junior Talhia Turner broke loose on the right wing and missed her shot wide left. Matt Nevala, Anchorage Daily News, 30 May 2021 Instead, a long-shot colt named Rombauer rolled down the middle of the lane like a riverboat let loose on a downstream current of the Mississippi River and won by three and a half lengths. New York Times, 15 May 2021 Ohtani struck out 10 in an impressive duel with McCullers, and the Astros broke loose against the Angels' bullpen to beat the Angels 5-1. Kristie Rieken, ajc, 12 May 2021 Ohtani struck out 10 in an impressive duel with McCullers, and the Astros broke loose against the Angels' bullpen to beat the Angels 5-1. Kristie Rieken, Chron, 12 May 2021 My home was purchased a bit after the real estate peak before the financial crisis, but before all hell broke loose. David Rae, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 Close's unexpected dance break quickly set social media ablaze, with Twitter users chiming in on their initial shock and overall joy at seeing the actress let loose. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 26 Apr. 2021 One is recording all the action with a camera and tripod, while others hang on every ground ball and face-off and let loose with over-the-top enthusiasm. Pat Stoetzer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 25 Apr. 2021 First, Brooke Lumpkin let loose with a throw of 46-8½, which was her lifetime best by one-half inch and the best throw in the state, according to the website MileSplit. Joe Magill, cleveland, 11 Apr. 2021

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

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Loose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loose. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for loose

Nglish: Translation of loose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of loose for Arabic Speakers

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