loose: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (ls), [key]
— adj., adv., v. loos•er, loos•est, loosed, loos•ing.
  1. free or released from fastening or attachment: a loose end.
  2. free from anything that binds or restrains; unfettered: loose cats prowling around in alleyways at night.
  3. uncombined, as a chemical element.
  4. not bound together: to wear one's hair loose.
  5. not put up in a package or other container: loose mushrooms.
  6. available for disposal; unused; unappropriated: loose funds.
  7. lacking in reticence or power of restraint: a loose tongue.
  8. lax, as the bowels.
  9. lacking moral restraint or integrity; notorious for his loose character.
  10. sexually promiscuous or immoral; unchaste.
  11. not firm, taut, or rigid: a loose tooth; a loose rein.
  12. relaxed or limber in nature: He runs with a loose, open stride.
  13. not fitting closely or tightly: a loose sweater.
  14. not close or compact in structure or arrangement; having spaces between the parts; open: a loose weave.
  15. having few restraining factors between associated constituents and allowing ample freedom for independent action: a loose federation of city-states.
  16. not cohering: loose sand.
  17. not strict, exact, or precise: a loose interpretation of the law.
    1. having the players on a team positioned at fairly wide intervals, as in a football formation.
    2. (of a ball, hockey puck, etc.) not in the possession of either team; out of player control.
  18. to remain relaxed and unperturbed.
  19. a bachelor on the loose.
    1. free; unconfined, as, esp., an escaped convict or circus animal.
    2. behaving in an unrestrained or dissolute way:a bachelor on the loose.
  1. in a loose manner; loosely (usually used in combination): loose-flowing.
  2. to free oneself; escape: The convicts broke loose.
  3. He was cast loose at an early age to make his own way in the world.
    1. to loosen or unfasten, as a ship from a mooring.
    2. to send forth; set adrift or free:He was cast loose at an early age to make his own way in the world.
  4. After the rodeo they headed into town to cut loose.
    1. to release from domination or control.
    2. to become free, independent, etc.
    3. to revel without restraint:After the rodeo they headed into town to cut loose.
  5. The guardrail let loose and we very nearly plunged over the edge.
    1. to free or become free.
    2. to yield; give way:The guardrail let loose and we very nearly plunged over the edge.
  6. to release or free, as from confinement: The teacher turned the children loose after the class.
  1. to let loose; free from bonds or restraint.
  2. to release, as from constraint, obligation, or penalty.
  3. to set free from fastening or attachment: to loose a boat from its moorings.
  4. to unfasten, undo, or untie, as a bond, fetter, or knot.
  5. to shoot; discharge; let fly: to loose missiles at the invaders.
  6. to make less tight; slacken or relax.
  7. to render less firmly fixed; lessen an attachment; loosen.
  1. to let go a hold.
  2. to hoist anchor; get under way.
  3. to shoot or let fly an arrow, bullet, etc. (often fol. by off): to loose off at a flock of ducks.
  4. to become loose; loosen.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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