loose ends

loose end

noun
1.
a part or piece left hanging, unattached, or unused: Remind me to tack down that loose end on the stairway carpet.
2.
an unsettled detail, as of a business matter: The arrangements have been made, except for a few loose ends.
Idioms
3.
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:
1540–50

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
loose end
 
n
1.  a detail that is left unsettled, unexplained, or incomplete
2.  at a loose end without purpose or occupation

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

loose ends

Unfinished details, incomplete business. For example, We've not quite finished the project; there are still some loose ends. This expression alludes to the ends of a rope or cable that should be fastened. [Mid-1800s] Also see at loose ends.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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