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Idioms about loose

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.

OTHER WORDS FROM loose

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH loose

loose , loosen, lose, loss
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

LOOSE VS. LOSE

What’s the difference between loose and lose?

Loose is most commonly used as an adjective meaning not tight or free or released from fastening, attachment, or restraint, as in a loose screw or Let him loose! Lose is a verb most commonly meaning to fail to win or to misplace something, as in I hate to lose in chess or Don’t lose your key. 

Loose ends with an s sound and rhymes with moose. Lose ends with a z sound and rhymes with choose.

One reason that the two words are sometimes confused is that loose can also be used as a verb, most commonly meaning to free something from a restraint, as in loose the cannons! 

Perhaps the most common misuse of these words is when loose is used when lose should be. To remember the difference, remember this sentence: You could lose loose screws. (First comes the verb lose, with one o, followed by the adjective loose, with two o’s).

Here’s an example of loose and lose used correctly in a sentence.

Example: If you carry around loose cash, you could lose it—put it in your wallet.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between loose and lose.

Quiz yourself on loose vs. lose!

Should loose or lose be used in the following sentence?

I don’t want to _____ this game!

How to use loose in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for loose

Derived forms of loose

loosely, 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

Medical definitions for loose

loose
[ lōōs ]

adj.
No longer fixed or fully attached, as a tooth.
Not compact or dense in arrangement or structure.
Not taut or rigid.
Of or relating to a cough that is accompanied by the production of mucus.
Characterized by the unrestrained movement of bodily fluids, especially in the gastrointestinal tract.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Other Idioms and Phrases with loose

loose

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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