loose end


noun

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.

Idioms

    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

First recorded in 1540–50

Definition for at loose ends (2 of 2)

Origin of end

1
before 900; Middle English, Old English ende; cognate with Old Frisian enda, Middle Dutch e(i)nde, Old Saxon endi, Old High German anti, G Ende, Old Norse endi(r), Gothic andeis end < Germanic *anthjá-; akin to Sanskrit ánta- end

SYNONYMS FOR end

Related forms

end·er, noun

Synonym study

5. End, close, conclusion, finish, outcome refer to the termination of something. End implies a natural termination or completion, or an attainment of purpose: the end of a day, of a race; to some good end. Close often implies a planned rounding off of something in process: the close of a conference. Conclusion suggests a decision or arrangement: All evidence leads to this conclusion; the conclusion of peace terms. Finish emphasizes completion of something begun: a fight to the finish. Outcome suggests the issue of something that was in doubt: the outcome of a game. 7. See aim.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for at loose ends (1 of 3)

loose end


noun

a detail that is left unsettled, unexplained, or incomplete
at a loose end without purpose or occupation

British Dictionary definitions for at loose ends (2 of 3)

end

1
/ (ɛnd) /

noun

verb

See also end up

Derived Forms

ender, noun

Word Origin for end

Old English ende; related to Old Norse endir, Gothic andeis, Old High German endi, Latin antiae forelocks, Sanskrit antya last

British Dictionary definitions for at loose ends (3 of 3)

end

2
/ (ɛnd) /

verb

(tr) British to put (hay or grain) into a barn or stack

Word Origin for end

Old English innian; related to Old High German innōn; see inn
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

Idioms and Phrases with at loose ends (1 of 2)

at loose ends


In an unsettled or uncertain situation. For example, This whole visit has left me feeling restless, constantly at loose ends, or Jane couldn't find a job this year and so is at loose ends for the summer. [Mid-1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with at loose ends (2 of 2)

end


In addition to the idioms beginning with end

  • end game
  • end in itself
  • end justifies the means, the
  • end of one's rope, at the
  • end of the line
  • end run
  • ends of the earth, the
  • end to end
  • end up

also see:

  • all's well that ends well
  • at loose ends
  • at one's wit's end
  • be-all and end-all
  • beginning of the end
  • bitter end
  • burn the candle at both ends
  • can't see beyond the end of one's nose
  • come to an end
  • dead end
  • go off the deep end
  • hair stand on end
  • hold one's end up
  • in the end
  • light at the end of the tunnel
  • make ends meet
  • never hear the end of
  • odds and ends
  • on end
  • on the receiving end
  • play both ends against the middle
  • put an end to
  • rear end
  • short end (of the stick)
  • tail end
  • wrong end of the stick
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.