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loosen

[loo-suh n] /ˈlu sən/
verb (used with object)
1.
to unfasten or undo, as a bond or fetter.
2.
to make less tight; slacken or relax:
to loosen one's grasp.
3.
to make less firmly fixed in place:
to loosen a tooth.
4.
to let loose or set free from bonds, restraint, or constraint.
5.
to make less close or compact in structure or arrangement.
6.
to make less dense or coherent:
to loosen the soil in a garden.
7.
to relax in strictness or severity, as restraint or discipline:
to loosen restrictions on trade.
8.
to relieve (the bowels) of their constipated condition.
verb (used without object)
9.
to become loose or looser (sometimes followed by up):
His hold loosened. Your shoes will loosen up with wear.
Origin of loosen
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English loosnen. See loose, -en1
Related forms
loosener, noun
Can be confused
loose, loosen, lose, loss.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for loosened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Iwanich bowed, loosened a scale from the body of the grateful beast, put it carefully away, and returned home.

    The Yellow Fairy Book Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang
  • Blocks of slate are loosened by blasting, and are taken to the splitting-shed.

    Diggers in the Earth Eva March Tappan
  • How like life, those soft curls burst from their loosened pressure!

  • These were the men who in their folly had loosened the waters and died of their rashness.

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • The bully staggered, but before he went down there came another blow that loosened one of his teeth.

    The Putnam Hall Rivals Arthur M. Winfield
British Dictionary definitions for loosened

loosen

/ˈluːsən/
verb
1.
to make or become less tight, fixed, etc
2.
(often foll by up) to make or become less firm, compact, or rigid
3.
(transitive) to untie
4.
(transitive) to let loose; set free
5.
(often foll by up) to make or become less strict, severe, etc
6.
(transitive) to rid or relieve (the bowels) of constipation
Derived Forms
loosener, noun
Word Origin
C14: from loose
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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Word Origin and History for loosened

loosen

v.

late 14c., losnen, later lousen (early 15c.), from loose (v.) + -en (1). Related: Loosened; loosening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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9
11
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