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See also: Loose
From Middle English loos, los, lous, from Old Norse lauss, from Proto-Germanic *lausaz, whence also -less, leasing; from Proto-Indo-European *lewH-, *lū- (“to untie, set free, separate”), whence also lyo-, -lysis, via Ancient Greek.
loose (third-person singular simple present looses, present participle loosing, simple past and past participle loosed)
- (transitive) To let loose, to free from restraints.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Matthew 11:2:
- Ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her; loose them, and bring them unto me.
- 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, →OCLC:
- "Ay, and one was nigh to being slain by the hot-pot to be eaten of those brutes, thy children, and had not the others fought gallantly they too had been slain, and not even I could have called back the life which had been loosed from the body."
- (transitive) To unfasten, to loosen.
- (transitive) To make less tight, to loosen.
- (intransitive) Of a grip or hold, to let go.
- (archery) To shoot (an arrow).
- (obsolete) To set sail.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Acts 13:13:
- Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.
- (obsolete) To solve; to interpret.
- 1596, Edmund Spenser, “Book V, Canto XI”, in The Faerie Queene. […], London: […] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, →OCLC:
- he had red her riddle, which no wight
Could ever loose
- (let loose): free, release
- (unfasten): loosen, unbind, undo, unfasten, untie
- (make less tight): loosen, relax, slacken
- (of grip or hold): let go, release
- (archery): fire, shoot
- (let loose): bind, constrain
- (unfasten): bind, fasten, tie
- (make less tight): tighten
- (of grip or hold): tighten
- (archery): fast
to let loose
to make less tight
to let go
archery: to shoot
loose (comparative looser, superlative loosest)
- Not fixed in place tightly or firmly.
- This wheelbarrow has a loose wheel.
- Not held or packaged together.
- You can buy apples in a pack, but they are cheaper loose.
- Not under control.
- The dog is loose again.
- 2020 October 15, Frank Pasquale, “‘Machines set loose to slaughter’: the dangerous rise of military AI”, in The Guardian:
- The very idea of a machine set loose to slaughter is chilling.
- 1712 (date written), [Joseph] Addison, Cato, a Tragedy. […], London: […] J[acob] Tonson, […], published 1713, →OCLC, Act I, scene v, page 4:
- Now I stand / Loose of my vow; but who knows Cato's thoughts?
- Not fitting closely
- I wear loose clothes when it is hot.
- Not compact.
- It is difficult walking on loose gravel.
- a cloth of loose texture
- 1667, John Milton, “Book II”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC:
- with horse and chariots ranked in loose array
- She danced with a loose flowing movement.
- Not precise or exact; vague; indeterminate.
- a loose way of reasoning
- 1858, William Whewell, The history of scientific ideas:
- The comparison employed […] must be considered rather as a loose analogy than as an exact scientific explanation.
- Loose talk costs lives.
- (somewhat dated) Free from moral restraint; immoral, unchaste.
- 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, I:
- In all these he was much and deeply read; / But not a page of any thing that's loose, / Or hints continuation of the species, / Was ever suffer'd, lest he should grow vicious.
- 1596, Edmund Spenser, “Book V, Canto VI”, in The Faerie Queene. […], London: […] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, →OCLC, stanza 5:
- to seeke her errant Knight; / And then againe resolu'd to hunt him out / Amongst loose Ladies, lapped in delight
- 1826, [Walter Scott], Woodstock; Or, The Cavalier. […], volume (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, →OCLC:
- the loose morality which he had learned
- (not comparable, sports) Not being in the possession of any competing team during a game.
- He caught an elbow going after a loose ball.
- The puck was momentarily loose right in front of the net.
- 2011 September 28, Tom Rostance, “Arsenal 2 - 1 Olympiakos”, in BBC Sport:
- Tomas Rosicky released the left-back with a fine pass but his low cross was cut out by Ivan Marcano. However the Brazilian was able to collect the loose ball, cut inside and roll a right-footed effort past Franco Costanzo at his near post.
- (dated) Not costive; having lax bowels.
- 1693, [John Locke], “(please specify the section number)”, in Some Thoughts Concerning Education, London: […] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, […], →OCLC:
- People that are very loose, have seldom strong Thoughts, or strong Bodies
- (of volumes of materials) Measured loosely stacked or disorganized (such as of firewood).
- (US, slang, motor racing, of a stock car) Having oversteer.
- (not fixed in place tightly or firmly): unfastened, unsecured; see also Thesaurus:loose
- (not held or packaged together): separate, unpackaged
- (not bound or tethered or leashed): free, untethered
- (not fitting closely): baggy; see also Thesaurus:loose-fitting
- (not compact): diffuse, spaced out; see also Thesaurus:diffuse
- (relaxed): loose-limbed, relaxed; see also Thesaurus:carefree
- (indiscreet): indiscreet
- (promiscuous): promiscuous, slutty, tarty, whorish; see also Thesaurus:promiscuous
- (not fixed in place tightly or firmly): firm, tight; see also Thesaurus:tight
- (not held or packaged together): packaged
- (not bound or tethered or leashed): bound, leashed, tethered, tied, tied up
- (not fitting closely): close-fitting, snug, tight; see also Thesaurus:close-fitting
- (not compact): compact, firm; see also Thesaurus:compact
- (relaxed): tense, tensed
- (indiscreet): discreet
- (promiscuous): faithful, monogamous
- (oversteer): tight
Terms derived from the adjective loose
- a few roos loose in the top paddock
- a kangaroo loose in the top paddock
- all bedlam breaks loose
- all hell breaks loose
- a roo loose in the top paddock
- at a loose end
- at loose ends
- break loose
- cast loose
- cut loose
- cut one loose
- cut someone loose
- false loose smut
- fast and loose
- hang loose
- hang-loose sign
- have a screw loose
- kick loose
- let loose
- loose ablative
- loose as a goose
- loose box
- loose cannon
- loose change
- loose connection
- loose construction
- loose constructionism
- loose coupling
- loose edge
- loose end
- loose ends
- loose head
- loose lip
- loose lips sink ships
- loose-meat sandwich
- loose scrum
- loose socks
- loose woman
- on the loose
- play fast and loose
- screw loose
- set loose
- stay loose
- talk fast and loose
- tie up loose ends
- turn loose
not fixed tightly
not leashed — see unleashed
not fitting tightly
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
loose (plural looses)
- (archery) The release of an arrow.
- 1641, Ben Jonson, Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter:
- In throwing a Dart, or Iavelin, wee force back our armes, to make our loose the stronger.
- (obsolete) A state of laxity or indulgence; unrestrained freedom, abandonment.
- 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair […], London: Bradbury and Evans […], published 1848, →OCLC:
- They give a loose to their feelings on proper occasions.
- (rugby) All play other than set pieces (scrums and line-outs).
- 2011, Tom Fordyce, Rugby World Cup 2011: England 12-19 France:
- The defeat will leave manager Martin Johnson under pressure after his gamble of pairing Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood at 10 and 12 failed to ignite the England back line, while his forwards were repeatedly second best at the set-piece and in the loose.
- Freedom from restraint.
- 1712 (date written), [Joseph] Addison, Cato, a Tragedy. […], London: […] J[acob] Tonson, […], published 1713, →OCLC, Act I, scene iv, page 1:
- Vent all its griefs, and give a loose to sorrow.
- 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar, […], →OCLC:
- The doctor now interposed, and prevented the effects of a wrath which was kindling between Jones and Thwackum; after which the former gave a loose to mirth, sang two or three amorous songs, and fell into every frantic disorder which unbridled joy is apt to inspire […]
- A letting go; discharge.
- (archery) begin shooting; release your arrows
- (archery: begin shooting): fast
archery: begin shooting
- Misspelling of lose.
- I'm going to loose this game.
Hypercorrectively from English lose or from looseur.
loose f (uncountable)
- Great pettiness, shabbiness
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *lewH-
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms derived from Old Norse
- English terms derived from Proto-Germanic
- English 1-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/uːs/1 syllable
- English lemmas
- English verbs
- English transitive verbs
- English terms with quotations
- English intransitive verbs
- English terms with obsolete senses
- English adjectives
- English terms with usage examples
- English dated terms
- American English
- English slang
- en:Motor racing
- English nouns
- English countable nouns
- English interjections
- English non-lemma forms
- English misspellings
- English calculator words
- French terms borrowed from English
- French terms derived from English
- French 1-syllable words
- French terms with IPA pronunciation
- French lemmas
- French nouns
- French uncountable nouns
- French feminine nouns