- An example of loose is a dog not on a leash.
- An example of loose is a hand full of cash in your pocket.
- An example of loose is a pair of baggy pants.
- not confined or restrained; free; unbound
- moving freely; not contained in a special holder, package, binding, etc.: loose salt, loose change in one's pocket
- readily available; not put away under lock and key: loose cash
- not firmly fastened down, on, or in: a loose tooth, a loose wheel
- not taut; slack
- not tight; giving enough room: loose clothing
- not compact or compactly constructed: loose soil, a loose frame
- not restrained; irresponsible: loose talk
- not precise or close; inexact: a loose translation
- sexually immoral or promiscuous
- not strained or hard: a loose cough
- moving freely or excessively: loose bowels
- Informal relaxed; easy; unconstrained
- Sports not in the possession of either team: a foul committed while the basketball was loose
Origin of looseMiddle English lous from Old Norse lauss, akin to German los, Old English leas: see -less
transitive verbloosed, loos′ing
- to make loose; loosen; specif.,
- to set free; unbind
- to free from an obligation or responsibility; absolve
- to let fly; release: to loose an arrow into the air
- to free oneself by force
- to shake off restraint
- to untie or unfasten
- to set free
let loose (with)
on the loose
- not confined or bound; free
- Informal having fun in a free, unrestrained manner
- Not fastened, restrained, or contained: loose bricks.
- Not taut, fixed, or rigid: a loose anchor line; a loose chair leg.
- Free from confinement or imprisonment; unfettered: criminals loose in the neighborhood; dogs that are loose on the streets.
- Not tight-fitting or tightly fitted: loose shoes.
- Not bound, bundled, stapled, or gathered together: loose papers.
- Not compact or dense in arrangement or structure: loose gravel.
- Lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility; idle: loose talk.
- Not formal; relaxed: a loose atmosphere at the club.
- Lacking conventional moral restraint in sexual behavior.
- Not literal or exact: a loose translation.
- Characterized by a free movement of fluids in the body: a loose cough; loose bowels.
transitive verbloosed, loos·ing, loos·es
- To let loose; release: loosed the dogs.
- To make loose; undo: loosed his belt.
- To cast loose; detach: hikers loosing their packs at camp.
- To let fly; discharge: loosed an arrow.
- To release pressure or obligation from; absolve: loosed her from the responsibility.
- To make less strict; relax: a leader's strong authority that was loosed by easy times.
Origin of looseMiddle English louse, los from Old Norse lauss ; see leu- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present looses, present participle loosing, simple past and past participle loosed)
(comparative looser, superlative loosest)
- Not fixed in place tightly or firmly.
- This wheelbarrow has a loose wheel.
- Not held or packaged together.
- You can buy apples in a pack, but they are cheaper loose.
- Not under control.
- The dog is loose again.
- Not fitting closely
- I wear loose clothes when it is hot.
- Not compact.
- It is difficult walking on loose gravel.
- a cloth of loose texture
- She danced with a loose flowing movement.
- Not precise or exact; vague; indeterminate.
- a loose way of reasoning
- Loose talk costs lives.
- (dated) Free from moral restraint; immoral, unchaste.
- (not comparable, sports) Not being in the possession of any competing team during a game.
- He caught an elbow going after a loose ball.
- The puck was momentarily loose right in front of the net.
- (dated) Not costive; having lax bowels.
- (archery) The release of an arrow.
- Freedom from restraint.
- A letting go; discharge.
- (archery) begin shooting; release your arrows
Old Norse lauss
- Common misspelling of lose.
- I'm going to loose this game.