From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Illness & disability
ldoce_208_elooseloose1 /luːs/ ●●● S3 W3 adjective 1 not firmly attachedLOOSE 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 attachedLOOSE 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 tightlyLOOSE not tied or fastened very tightly a loose knot4 hair if your hair is loose, it hangs freely rather than being tied back Her hair fell loose around her shoulders.5 clothesLOOSE loose clothes are big and do not fit your body tightly SYN loose-fitting, baggy OPP tight a loose sweatshirt 6 freeESCAPE free from being controlled or held in a cage, prison, or institutionbreak/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]EXACT not exact or thoroughly done a loose translation a loose interpretation of the law8 not very controlledFREE TO DO WHAT YOU WANT not strictly controlled or organizedloose 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 massloose soil/earth10 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 loose12 let (something ↔) loose13 let somebody loose on something14 be at a loose end15 loose ends16 loose change17 loose cannon18 hang/stay loose19 body wasteMI having a problem in which the waste from your bowels has too much liquid in it loose bowels20 immoral old-fashionedSYSEX/HAVE SEX WITH behaving in a way that is considered to be sexually immoral a loose woman loose morals21 talk old-fashionedCARELESS not careful about what you say or who is listening There’s been a bit of loose talk about it.looseness noun [uncountable]
Examples from the Corpus
looseOne of Sean's front teeth is loose.One of the hinges on the box was coming loose.The term "empire' is often loosely applied to a federation of states.A sparrow hawk appeared - and all hell broke loose!He didn't bathe, his teeth got loose.My shoelaces are loose.Some of the floorboards are loose and they creak when you walk on them.There must be a wire loose, because this light isn't working.The guitar strings were loose, but none were broken.Searching the cloaks turns up a few loose buttons and an Imperial silver shilling. 20.The garage claimed it was just a loose connection.In hot weather, loose cotton clothes are more comfortable.There are two classes of relationships; loose coupling and tight coupling.Joey Bonanza doesn't like loose ends.They saw themselves as having a consultative decision-making style, using relatively loose follow-up, and being very open to persuasion.It was as though she'd been let loose from shackles she hadn't even known she'd been wearing.a loose group of local organizationsA looser interpretation of the law would lead to more convictions.a loose interpretation of the lawShe wore a long, loose linen jacket.The top fitted me, but the shorts were a little loose round the waist.a loose screwa loose toothThe title is a loose translation of the Korean original.This is only a loose translation of the original paper.linen cloth with a loose weavea loose womancome looseSampson used to tie his gloves with straps and whilst batting in this particular game they came loose.The cape was my college graduation gown pinned up so he could walk, and now the pins were coming loose.An arm came loose and fell off, revealing scrunched up newsprint where there should have been ligament, bone and muscle.Some ropes had come loose and were swinging wildly in the wind.Think of all the things that come loose around the house.His heart felt it would come loose in his body, so wildly was it beating.loose stonesNo, he thought, those were necklaces that royalty had worn, not loose stones.There aren't any loose stones.There is only one tall stone standing now and no white cross on the cairn-like mound of loose stones.I've been trying to find loose stones again.Her left foot skittered on the loose stones, and she wobbled again, dangerously.Boldly he kicked loose stones off the ledges and heard them clatter into the silence below.Then they were driving over rough ground, loose stones popping under the tyres.His rear wheel spun on the loose stones, searching for grip, then he pulled away.break/get looseAmmo dumps were being detonated by incoming mortars and rockets, and all hell was breaking loose.If he leaves, all hell breaks loose.If her brothers even suspected that she had been with a boy, all hell would break loose.They establish a colony on Ragol but this perfect planet soon unleashes a few surprises and all hell breaks loose.I was trying to ease the wagon down a short slope when it broke loose and almost broke my leg.When word of my retirement got loose, caddies were all over him, looking for work.He reportedly found it very hard and was left hanging from his axes as both crampon placements broke loose nearing the top.The self-control she exercised when awake was abandoned by her in sleep, her body breaking loose to admit her confusion.loose interpretationCar, she thought, was a loose interpretation.Here the somewhat looser interpretation of unity was used. with stress on the humanity side and moral choices.loose federation/alliance/group etcA new constitution was adopted transforming a loose federation of affiliated organisations into a centralised national political party.They were something else, a loose federation of animals and plants united into an emergent superorganism exhibiting distinctive behavior.The Empire, a loose alliance of city-states and provinces owing allegiance to its Emperor, and the kingdom of Bretonnia.This was a proposal for a loose federation of locally based groups.The Labour Party was ceasing to be a loose federation of political and industrial groups.Most other firms are also members of a looser group of some sort.Some are loose alliances that use new technology to spread ideas and mobilise supporters.loose soil/earthMagnolias fare best in acidic, loose soil.Struggling out much later from the weight of corpses, crawling out of the loose soil.The solid rocks have been weathered to form loose soil.You should never wash roots before storing, but always gently rub off any loose soil.Max leaned forward and gathered up a handful of loose earth and scattered it on the coffin.The animal was attracted by the smell of the explosive and pawed at loose soil beneath a tree.Remove any heavy loose soil by scraping.Use bulb-fibre, peat or a loose soil mixed with compost.loose ballBut Abdur-Rahim missed an off-balance shot and Jelani McCoy grabbed the loose ball.He lost the ball when he hit the turf but recovered the loose ball.He went down on a loose ball and my boot landed on him.The South-West's late try came when Clough was sent a hospital pass and Fallon booted the loose ball over the line.Henderson scooped up the loose ball to score.Three minutes later Sharp was denied by Chamberlain, but Milligan seized on the loose ball to score.The great satisfaction was that the aspects we concentrated on in training - defence and winning loose ball - worked out well.loose womanHere he encountered the bars and loose women and dance halls that would soon make him a famous artist.She said she was not a loose woman but that she had blood in her veins, not Sour milk.The loosest woman is a stickler for etiquette and elocution.loose talkNegligence, loose talk, an array of small agents.Harbury's loose talk suggested he had few facts.
looseloose2 verb [transitive] literary 1 START something/MAKE something STARTto make something unpleasant begin And now the anger Maggie had feared was loosed.2 LOOSEto make something loose or to untie someone or something, especially an animal3 ALto fire an arrow, a bullet from a gun etc loose something on/upon somebody/something→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
looseThe tanker loosed 13,000 gallons of pesticide into the river.The recent court case has loosed a number of racist attacks.The internet has opened a Pandora's box of threats: its demons have been loosed on us all.Police fired tear gas and loosed police dogs.He clambered forward, loosed the ropes, and threw his weight on the sail to bring it dawn.
looseloose3 noun be on the looseOrigin loose1 (1100-1200) Old Norse lauss