loose

[loos]
adjective, looser, loosest.
1.
free or released from fastening or attachment: a loose end.
2.
free from anything that binds or restrains; unfettered: loose cats prowling around in alleyways at night.
3.
uncombined, as a chemical element.
4.
not bound together: to wear one's hair loose.
5.
not put up in a package or other container: loose mushrooms.
6.
available for disposal; unused; unappropriated: loose funds.
7.
lacking in reticence or power of restraint: a loose tongue.
8.
lax, as the bowels.
9.
lacking moral restraint or integrity; notorious for his loose character.
10.
sexually promiscuous or immoral; unchaste.
11.
not firm, taut, or rigid: a loose tooth; a loose rein.
12.
relaxed or limber in nature: He runs with a loose, open stride.
13.
not fitting closely or tightly: a loose sweater.
14.
not close or compact in structure or arrangement; having spaces between the parts; open: a loose weave.
15.
having few restraining factors between associated constituents and allowing ample freedom for independent action: a loose federation of city-states.
16.
not cohering: loose sand.
17.
not strict, exact, or precise: a loose interpretation of the law.
18.
Sports.
a.
having the players on a team positioned at fairly wide intervals, as in a football formation.
b.
(of a ball, hockey puck, etc.) not in the possession of either team; out of player control.
adverb
19.
in a loose manner; loosely (usually used in combination): loose-flowing.
verb (used with object), loosed, loosing.
20.
to let loose; free from bonds or restraint.
21.
to release, as from constraint, obligation, or penalty.
22.
Chiefly Nautical. to set free from fastening or attachment: to loose a boat from its moorings.
23.
to unfasten, undo, or untie, as a bond, fetter, or knot.
24.
to shoot; discharge; let fly: to loose missiles at the invaders.
25.
to make less tight; slacken or relax.
26.
to render less firmly fixed; lessen an attachment; loosen.
verb (used without object), loosed, loosing.
27.
to let go a hold.
28.
to hoist anchor; get under way.
29.
to shoot or let fly an arrow, bullet, etc. (often followed by off ): to loose off at a flock of ducks.
30.
Obsolete. to become loose; loosen.
Idioms
31.
break loose, to free oneself; escape: The convicts broke loose.
32.
cast loose,
a.
to loosen or unfasten, as a ship from a mooring.
b.
to send forth; set adrift or free: He was cast loose at an early age to make his own way in the world.
33.
cut loose,
a.
to release from domination or control.
b.
to become free, independent, etc.
c.
to revel without restraint: After the rodeo they headed into town to cut loose.
34.
hang/stay loose, Slang. to remain relaxed and unperturbed.
35.
let loose,
a.
to free or become free.
b.
to yield; give way: The guardrail let loose and we very nearly plunged over the edge.
36.
on the loose,
a.
free; unconfined, as, especially, an escaped convict or circus animal.
b.
behaving in an unrestrained or dissolute way: a bachelor on the loose.
37.
turn loose, to release or free, as from confinement: The teacher turned the children loose after the class.

Origin:
1175–1225; (adj.) Middle English los, loos < Old Norse lauss loose, free, empty; cognate with Old English lēas (see -less), Dutch, German los loose, free; (v.) Middle English leowsen, lousen, derivative of the adj.

loosely, adverb
looseness, noun
overloose, adjective
overloosely, adverb
overlooseness, noun

loose, loosen, lose, loss.


2. unbound, untied, unrestricted, unconfined. 10. libertine, dissolute, licentious. 17. vague, general, indefinite. 20. loosen, unbind. 21. liberate. 25. ease.


1. bound. 10. chaste. 25. tighten.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
loose (luːs)
 
adj
1.  free or released from confinement or restraint
2.  not close, compact, or tight in structure or arrangement
3.  not fitted or fitting closely: loose clothing is cooler
4.  not bundled, packaged, fastened, or put in a container: loose nails
5.  inexact; imprecise: a loose translation
6.  (of funds, cash, etc) not allocated or locked away; readily available
7.  a.  (esp of women) promiscuous or easy
 b.  (of attitudes, ways of life, etc) immoral or dissolute
8.  lacking a sense of responsibility or propriety: loose talk
9.  a.  (of the bowels) emptying easily, esp excessively; lax
 b.  (of a cough) accompanied by phlegm, mucus, etc
10.  (of a dye or dyed article) fading as a result of washing; not fast
11.  informal chiefly (US), (Canadian) very relaxed; easy
 
n
12.  rugby the loose See scrum the part of play when the forwards close round the ball in a ruck or loose scrum
13.  on the loose
 a.  free from confinement or restraint
 b.  informal on a spree
 
adv
14.  a.  in a loose manner; loosely
 b.  (in combination): loose-fitting
15.  informal chiefly (US) hang loose to behave in a relaxed, easy fashion
 
vb (when intr, often foll by off)
16.  (tr) to set free or release, as from confinement, restraint, or obligation
17.  (tr) to unfasten or untie
18.  to make or become less strict, tight, firmly attached, compact, etc
19.  to let fly (a bullet, arrow, or other missile)
 
[C13 (in the sense: not bound): from Old Norse lauss free; related to Old English lēas free from, -less]
 
'loosely
 
adv
 
'looseness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

loose
c.1300, from O.N. lauss "loose, free, vacant, dissolute," cognate with O.E. leas "devoid of, false, feigned, incorrect," from P.Gmc. *lausaz (cf. Dan. løs "loose, untied," M.Du., Ger. los, Goth. laus), from PIE *lau-/*leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart" (see lose). The
verb is first recorded early 13c., "to set free." Sense of "unchaste, immoral" is recorded from late 15c. Figurative sense of loose cannon was in use by mid-20c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

loose definition


  1. mod.
    very drunk. : Mary was a little loose and had to be driven home.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

loose

In addition to the idioms beginning with loose, also see at loose ends; break loose; cast loose; cut loose; footloose and fancy-free; hang loose; have a screw loose; on the loose; play fast and loose.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Her head was jammed under a load of debris, but eventually she worked it loose.
He is less than eight feet from me when a rock the size of a toolbox comes loose in his hand.
Cut loose from this sort of creative conversation, few architects do their best work.
Sheets of salt water were torn loose by the plunging and driving of the bow.
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