Meaning of LOOSE in English


I. loose 1 S3 W3 /luːs/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: Old Norse ; Origin: lauss ]

1 . NOT FIRMLY ATTACHED not firmly fastened in place:

a loose floorboard

This tooth feels very loose.

The screw has come loose (=became loose) .

► Do not confuse the adjective loose /luːs/ with the verb lose /luːz/ (=stop having something, become unable to find something etc) : They thought they might lose their jobs.

2 . NOT ATTACHED not attached to anything else:

loose papers

His rear wheel spun on the loose stones.

The potatoes are sold loose (=not packed in a container) .

The driver had forgotten to fasten the safety chain and the trailer came loose (=became unattached) .

3 . NOT TIED TIGHTLY not tied or fastened very tightly:

a loose knot

4 . HAIR if your hair is loose, it hangs freely rather than being tied back:

Her hair fell loose around her shoulders.

5 . CLOTHES loose clothes are big and do not fit your body tightly SYN loose-fitting , baggy OPP tight :

a loose sweatshirt

6 . FREE free from being controlled or held in a cage, prison, or institution

break/get loose (=escape)

A 34-year-old inmate broke loose from the sheriff’s office yesterday.

turn/let/set something loose (=let something go free)

Don’t let your dog loose on the beach.

7 . NOT EXACT [usually before noun] not exact or thoroughly done:

a loose translation

a loose interpretation of the law

8 . NOT VERY CONTROLLED not strictly controlled or organized

loose federation/alliance/group etc

a loose federation of political groups

loose arrangement (=an arrangement that can easily be changed)

9 . NOT SOLID not pressed tightly together in a solid mass

loose soil/earth

10 . SPORT not under the control of either team in a game of football, ↑ rugby etc:

Sheringham was the first player to reach the loose ball.

11 . cut loose

a) to free yourself from someone or something, or their influence

cut yourself loose (from something)

He cut himself loose from the constraints of family life.

b) American English informal to start enjoying yourself in a happy noisy way after a period of controlled behaviour:

I’m ready to cut loose and enjoy the weekend.

12 . let (something ↔) loose to speak or behave in an uncontrolled way:

She let loose a string of four-letter words.

13 . let somebody loose on something to allow someone to deal with something in the way they want to, when you think they will make mistakes or do something wrong:

Whatever you do, don’t let Derek loose on the garden.

14 . be at a loose end ( also be at loose ends American English ) to have nothing to do:

I was at a loose end so I decided to go see an old movie.

15 . loose ends parts of something that have not been completed or correctly done:

We’ve nearly finished, but there are still a few loose ends to be tied up (=dealt with or completed) .

16 . loose change coins that you have in your bag or pocket

17 . loose cannon someone who cannot be trusted because they say or do things you do not want them to

18 . hang/stay loose American English spoken used to tell someone to stay calm, or not to worry about something

19 . BODY WASTE having a problem in which the waste from your ↑ bowel s has too much liquid in it:

loose bowels

20 . IMMORAL old-fashioned behaving in a way that is considered to be sexually immoral:

a loose woman

loose morals

21 . TALK old-fashioned not careful about what you say or who is listening:

There’s been a bit of loose talk about it.

—loosely adverb :

A towel was loosely wrapped around his neck.

The film is loosely based on the novel.

—looseness noun [uncountable]

II. loose 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive] literary

1 . to make something unpleasant begin:

And now the anger Maggie had feared was loosed.

2 . to make something loose or to untie someone or something, especially an animal

3 . to fire an ↑ arrow , a bullet from a gun etc

loose something on/upon somebody/something phrasal verb

literary to allow something dangerous or harmful to begin to affect a situation or other people:

the evils loosed upon humanity in World War II

III. loose 3 BrE AmE noun

be on the loose if a criminal or dangerous animal is on the loose, they have escaped from prison or from their cage

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.