[ loo-suh n ]
/ ˈlu sən /
verb (used with object)
to unfasten or undo, as a bond or fetter.
to make less tight; slacken or relax: to loosen one's grasp.
to make less firmly fixed in place: to loosen a tooth.
to let loose or set free from bonds, restraint, or constraint.
to make less close or compact in structure or arrangement.
to make less dense or coherent: to loosen the soil in a garden.
to relax in strictness or severity, as restraint or discipline: to loosen restrictions on trade.
to relieve (the bowels) of their constipated condition.
verb (used without object)
to become loose or looser (sometimes followed by up): His hold loosened. Your shoes will loosen up with wear.
Words nearby loosen
Origin of loosen
OTHER WORDS FROM loosenloos·en·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for loosen up
/ (ˈluːsən) /
to make or become less tight, fixed, etc
(often foll by up) to make or become less firm, compact, or rigid
(tr) to untie
(tr) to let loose; set free
(often foll by up) to make or become less strict, severe, etc
(tr) to rid or relieve (the bowels) of constipation
Derived forms of loosenloosener, noun
Word Origin for loosen
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