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loose end

a part or piece left hanging, unattached, or unused:
Remind me to tack down that loose end on the stairway carpet.
an unsettled detail, as of a business matter:
The arrangements have been made, except for a few loose ends.
at loose ends, in an uncertain or unsettled situation or position:
Ever since leaving the company, he's been at loose ends.
Also, at a loose end.
Origin of loose end
1540-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for loose end
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I shouldn't be just somebody he remembered when he was at a loose end—now.

    The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
  • "I have it with me," replied Sallette, shaking the loose end of the bag.

    Stories Of Georgia Joel Chandler Harris
  • In struggling to regain his grip on the plane, he lost the loose end of his leggins.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol Henry Harley Arnold
  • Yet I felt guilty, and was afraid to look at him, and remained at a loose end all day.

    Boyhood Leo Tolstoy
  • One of the hands, who had been ordered aloft on some errand of securing a loose end, presented a curious sight.

    The Cruise of the Cachalot Frank T. Bullen
  • After all, I reflected, I was at a loose end, and where I went did not matter to anybody.

  • The crew maneuvered until they came along side the target and then caught the loose end of the cable.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol Henry Harley Arnold
  • He struck the horse over the flank with the loose end of the halter rein.

British Dictionary definitions for loose end

loose end

a detail that is left unsettled, unexplained, or incomplete
at a loose end, without purpose or occupation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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