Nearby words

  1. looping,
  2. looping mill,
  3. loopy,
  4. loos,
  5. loos, adolf,
  6. loose cannon,
  7. loose change,
  8. loose cover,
  9. loose end,
  10. loose ends

Idioms

Origin of loose

1175–1225; (adj.) Middle English los, loos < Old Norse lauss loose, free, empty; cognate with Old English lēas (see -less), Dutch, German los loose, free; (v.) Middle English leowsen, lousen, derivative of the adj.

Related forms
Can be confusedloose loosen lose loss

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for loose


British Dictionary definitions for loose

loose

adjective

free or released from confinement or restraint
not close, compact, or tight in structure or arrangement
not fitted or fitting closelyloose clothing is cooler
not bundled, packaged, fastened, or put in a containerloose nails
inexact; imprecisea loose translation
(of funds, cash, etc) not allocated or locked away; readily available
  1. (esp of women) promiscuous or easy
  2. (of attitudes, ways of life, etc) immoral or dissolute
lacking a sense of responsibility or proprietyloose talk
  1. (of the bowels) emptying easily, esp excessively; lax
  2. (of a cough) accompanied by phlegm, mucus, etc
(of a dye or dyed article) fading as a result of washing; not fast
informal, mainly US and Canadian very relaxed; easy

noun

the loose rugby the part of play when the forwards close round the ball in a ruck or loose scrumSee scrum
on the loose
  1. free from confinement or restraint
  2. informalon a spree

adverb

  1. in a loose manner; loosely
  2. (in combination)loose-fitting
hang loose informal, mainly US to behave in a relaxed, easy fashion

verb

(tr) to set free or release, as from confinement, restraint, or obligation
(tr) 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)
Derived Formsloosely, adverblooseness, noun

Word Origin for loose

C13 (in the sense: not bound): from Old Norse lauss free; related to Old English lēas free from, -less

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

Word Origin and History for loose
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with loose

loose

In addition to the idioms beginning with loose

  • loose cannon
  • loose ends

also see:

  • at loose ends
  • break loose
  • cast loose
  • cut loose
  • footloose and fancy-free
  • hang loose
  • have a screw loose
  • on the loose
  • play fast and loose
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.