adjective, looser, loosest.
free or released from fastening or attachment:
a loose end.
free from anything that binds or restrains; unfettered:
loose cats prowling around in alleyways at night.
uncombined, as a chemical element.
not bound together:
to wear one’s hair loose.
not put up in a package or other container:
available for disposal; unused; unappropriated:
lacking in reticence or power of restraint:
a loose tongue.
lax, as the bowels.
lacking moral restraint or integrity; notorious for his loose character.
sexually promiscuous or immoral; unchaste.
not firm, taut, or rigid:
a loose tooth; a loose rein.
relaxed or limber in nature:
He runs with a loose, open stride.
not fitting closely or tightly:
a loose sweater.
not close or compact in structure or arrangement; having spaces between the parts; open:
a loose weave.
having few restraining factors between associated constituents and allowing ample freedom for independent action:
a loose federation of city-states.
not strict, exact, or precise:
a loose interpretation of the law.
in a loose manner; loosely (usually used in combination):
verb (used with object), loosed, loosing.
to let loose; free from bonds or restraint.
to release, as from constraint, obligation, or penalty.
Chiefly Nautical. to set free from fastening or attachment:
to loose a boat from its moorings.
to unfasten, undo, or untie, as a bond, fetter, or knot.
to shoot; discharge; let fly:
to loose missiles at the invaders.
to make less tight; slacken or relax.
to render less firmly fixed; lessen an attachment; loosen.
verb (used without object), loosed, loosing.
to let go a hold.
to hoist anchor; get under way.
to shoot or let fly an arrow, bullet, etc. (often followed by off):
to loose off at a flock of ducks.
Obsolete. to become loose; loosen.
break loose, to free oneself; escape:
The convicts broke loose.
hang / stay loose, Slang. to remain relaxed and unperturbed.
on the loose,
turn loose, to release or free, as from confinement:
The teacher turned the children loose after the class.
free or released from confinement or restraint
not close, compact, or tight in structure or arrangement
not fitted or fitting closely: loose clothing is cooler
not bundled, packaged, fastened, or put in a container: loose nails
inexact; imprecise: a loose translation
(of funds, cash, etc) not allocated or locked away; readily available
lacking a sense of responsibility or propriety: loose talk
(of a dye or dyed article) fading as a result of washing; not fast
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) very relaxed; easy
(rugby) the loose, the part of play when the forwards close round the ball in a ruck or loose scrum See scrum
on the loose
(informal, mainly US) hang loose, to behave in a relaxed, easy fashion
(transitive) to set free or release, as from confinement, restraint, or obligation
(transitive) to unfasten or untie
to make or become less strict, tight, firmly attached, compact, etc
when intr, often foll by off. to let fly (a bullet, arrow, or other missile)
early 13c., “not securely fixed;” c.1300, “unbound,” from Old Norse lauss “loose, free, vacant, dissolute,” cognate with Old English leas “devoid of, false, feigned, incorrect,” from Proto-Germanic *lausaz (cf. Danish løs “loose, untied,” Swedish lös “loose, movable, detached,” Middle Dutch, German los “loose, free,” Gothic laus “empty, vain”), from PIE *leu- “to loosen, divide, cut apart” (see lose). Meaning “not clinging, slack” is mid-15c. Meaning “not bundled” is late 15c. Sense of “unchaste, immoral” is recorded from late 15c. Meaning “at liberty, free from obligation” is 1550s. Sense of “rambling, disconnected” is from 1680s. Figurative sense of loose cannon was in use by 1896, probably from celebrated image in a popular story by Hugo:
You can reason with a bull dog, astonish a bull, fascinate a boa, frighten a tiger, soften a lion; no resource with such a monster as a loose cannon. You cannot kill it, it is dead; and at the same time it lives. It lives with a sinister life which comes from the infinite. It is moved by the ship, which is moved by the sea, which is moved by the wind. This exterminator is a plaything. [Victor Hugo, “Ninety Three”]
Loose end in reference to something unfinished, undecided, unguarded is from 1540s; to be at loose ends is from 1807. Phrase on the loose “free, unrestrained” is from 1749 (upon the loose).
early 13c, “to set free,” from loose (adj.). Meaning “to undo, untie, unfasten” is 14c. Related: Loosed; loosing.
all hell broke loose, hang loose, a screw loose
[loos-fit-ing] /ˈlusˈfɪt ɪŋ/ adjective 1. (of a garment) fitting loosely; not following the contours of the body closely.
[loos-foo t-id] /ˈlusˈfʊt ɪd/ adjective, Nautical. 1. (of a fore-and-aft sail) not having the foot bent to a boom.
- Loose forward
noun 1. (rugby) one of a number of forwards who play at the back or sides of the scrum and who are not bound wholly into it Compare tight forward
- Loose head
noun 1. (rugby) the prop on the hooker’s left in the front row of a scrum Compare tight head