loose

adjective
\ ˈlüs How to pronounce loose (audio) \
looser; loosest

Essential Meaning of loose

1 : not tightly fastened, attached, or held a loose tooth a loose thread See More ExamplesSome 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/worked loose. The boat came loose from its moorings and floated out into the harbor. The ball popped loose from the shortstop's glove.Hide
2 : not pulled or stretched tight a loose belt loose reins on a horse loose skin
3 of clothing : not fitting close to your body : not tight She was wearing a loose dress/skirt. a loose [=baggy] sweater

Full 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Suddenly all hell breaks loose, replete with torches, Molotov cocktails and the smashing of windows. Steve Chagollan, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Jan. 2022 Kubalík tried to redirect Kane’s pass, then knocked the rebound over to Hagel, who swept in the loose puck. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, 18 Jan. 2022 Late at night, after the chummy, loose ceremony—complete with jokes—and a buffet-style dinner, everyone waits near the small stage. Matt B. Weir, Harper’s Magazine , 18 Jan. 2022 The Clear Cut creates a custom GEM portal, which contains all the information from the gemologist conversation as well as up to five loose diamonds. Sharon Edelson, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 With multiple shut-offs like that since, many residents of Alta Sierra—a loose collection of forested subdivisions totaling about 7,000 population—bought portable generators to try to ride out the blackouts. Jim Carlton, WSJ, 17 Jan. 2022 The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has relocated 11 loose moose since Jan. 9 — and most were found wandering on Interstate 80. Jordan Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Jan. 2022 Cowboys locked up at the Louisiana State Penitentiary perform at the Angola Prison Rodeo (events include barrel racing and a game of poker in which four men play seated at a table while a loose bull bucks around). Adam Iscoe, The New Yorker, 17 Jan. 2022 That raises the risk of real harms from untrustworthy technology let loose in health systems. Tom Simonite, Wired, 16 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Word of warning: Danes plan ahead and restaurants get booked up so make reservations where possible -- and pack loose-fitting clothes. Helen Russell, CNN, 14 Dec. 2021 Eilish then revealed the motivation behind her signature aesthetic, which involved loose-fitting and baggy clothes. Jenna Ryu, USA TODAY, 12 Dec. 2021 If your bumps are caused by certain types of gear, wearing loose-fitting, moisture-wicking clothes can also help reduce friction and prevent excess sweat from sitting on your skin. Krissy Brady, SELF, 7 Dec. 2021 Yakoot, now thirty-four, was dressed in a loose-fitting gray dress and a black hijab, balancing their eighteen-month-old daughter on her lap. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021 Both are dressed in stylishly low-key all-black ensembles: Byrne is in a Hermès turtleneck, while Lorde is casually regal in a loose-fitting Saint Laurent suit. Simon Vozick-levinson, Rolling Stone, 15 Oct. 2021 Those loose-fitting denim pieces paired well with everything, from turtlenecks to zip-up jackets to (another uber-popular trend) tuxedo vests. Alexis Bennett, Vogue, 11 Oct. 2021 Even loose-fitting cloth and surgical masks block about half of the fine aerosols containing virus, according to the study of people infected with variants, published this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. BostonGlobe.com, 1 Oct. 2021 One foot still in the stirrups, the doughty Englishman was saved by a loose-fitting shoe from being dragged to death. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 1 Oct. 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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Dictionary Entries Near loose

loopy

loose

loose accent

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Statistics for loose

Last Updated

21 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Loose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loose. Accessed 27 Jan. 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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