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LOOSE

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does loose mean? 

LOOSE (adjective)
  The adjective LOOSE has 17 senses:

1. not restrained or confined or attached
2. not compact or dense in structure or arrangement
3. (of a ball in sport) not in the possession or control of any player
4. not tight; not closely constrained or constricted or constricting
5. not officially recognized or controlled
6. not literal
7. emptying easily or excessively
8. not affixed
9. not tense or taut
10. (of textures) full of small openings or gaps
11. not fixed firmly or tightly
12. lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility
13. not carefully arranged in a package
14. freely producing mucus
15. having escaped, especially from confinement
16. casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior
17. not bound or fastened or gathered together

  Familiarity information: LOOSE used as an adjective is very familiar.


LOOSE (verb)
  The verb LOOSE has 4 senses:

1. grant freedom to; free from confinement
2. turn loose or free from restraint
3. make loose or looser
4. become loose or looser or less tight

  Familiarity information: LOOSE used as a verb is uncommon.


LOOSE (adverb)
  The adverb LOOSE has 1 sense:

1. without restraint

  Familiarity information: LOOSE used as an adverb is very rare.


 Dictionary entry details 


LOOSE (adjective)


Sense 1loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not restrained or confined or attached

Context examples:

a pocket full of loose bills / knocked the ball loose / got loose from his attacker

Similar:

free (able to act at will; not hampered; not under compulsion or restraint)


Sense 2loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not compact or dense in structure or arrangement

Context example:

loose gravel

Similar:

unconsolidated (loose and unstratified)

silty (full of silt)

shifting; unfirm ((of soil) unstable)

friable; light; sandy ((used of soil) loose and large-grained in consistency)

Antonym:

compact (closely and firmly united or packed together)


Sense 3loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(of a ball in sport) not in the possession or control of any player

Context example:

a loose ball

Similar:

uncontrolled (not being under control; out of control)

Domain category:

athletics; sport (an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition)


Sense 4loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not tight; not closely constrained or constricted or constricting

Context examples:

loose clothing / the large shoes were very loose

Similar:

baggy; loose-fitting; sloppy (not fitting closely; hanging loosely)

flyaway ((of hair or clothing) worn loose)

Also:

lax (not taut or rigid; not stretched or held tight)

Antonym:

tight (closely constrained or constricted or constricting)


Sense 5loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not officially recognized or controlled

Synonyms:

informal; loose

Context examples:

an informal agreement / a loose organization of the local farmers

Similar:

unofficial (not having official authority or sanction)


Sense 6loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not literal

Synonyms:

liberal; loose; free

Context examples:

a loose interpretation of what she had been told / a free translation of the poem

Similar:

inexact (not exact)


Sense 7loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Emptying easily or excessively

Synonyms:

lax; loose

Context example:

loose bowels

Similar:

regular; unconstipated (not constipated)


Sense 8loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not affixed

Synonyms:

unaffixed; loose

Context example:

the stamp came loose


Sense 9loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not tense or taut

Synonyms:

slack; loose

Context examples:

the old man's skin hung loose and grey / slack and wrinkled skin / slack sails / a slack rope

Similar:

lax (not taut or rigid; not stretched or held tight)


Sense 10loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(of textures) full of small openings or gaps

Synonyms:

open; loose

Context examples:

an open texture / a loose weave

Similar:

coarse; harsh (of textures that are rough to the touch or substances consisting of relatively large particles)


Sense 11loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not fixed firmly or tightly

Context examples:

the bolts became loose over time / a loose chair leg / loose bricks

Similar:

insecure (not firm or firmly fixed; likely to fail or give way)


Sense 12loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility

Synonyms:

idle; loose

Context examples:

idle talk / a loose tongue

Similar:

irresponsible (showing lack of care for consequences)


Sense 13loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not carefully arranged in a package

Context example:

a box of loose nails

Similar:

unpackaged (not packaged or put into packets)


Sense 14loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Freely producing mucus

Context example:

a loose phlegmy cough

Similar:

phlegmy (characterized by phlegm)


Sense 15loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Having escaped, especially from confinement

Synonyms:

on the loose; escaped; at large; loose

Context examples:

a convict still at large / searching for two escaped prisoners / dogs loose on the streets / criminals on the loose in the neighborhood

Similar:

free (able to act at will; not hampered; not under compulsion or restraint)


Sense 16loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior

Synonyms:

wanton; sluttish; promiscuous; easy; loose; light

Context examples:

her easy virtue / he was told to avoid loose (or light) women / wanton behavior

Similar:

unchaste (not chaste)


Sense 17loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not bound or fastened or gathered together

Context examples:

loose pages / loose papers

Similar:

unbound (not secured within a cover)


LOOSE (verb)


Sense 1loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Grant freedom to; free from confinement

Classified under:

Verbs of political and social activities and events

Synonyms:

unloosen; unloose; loose; free; release; liberate

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "loose"):

bail out (free on bail)

run (set animals loose to graze)

bail (release after a security has been paid)

unchain (make free)

unspell (release from a spell)

parole (release a criminal from detention and place him on parole)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s somebody
Something ----s somebody

Sentence example:

They want to loose the prisoners


Sense 2loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Turn loose or free from restraint

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Synonyms:

loose; let loose; unleash

Context examples:

let loose mines / Loose terrible plagues upon humanity

Hypernyms (to "loose" is one way to...):

let go; let go of; release; relinquish (release, as from one's grip)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Somebody ----s somebody
Something ----s somebody
Something ----s something


Sense 3loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Make loose or looser

Classified under:

Verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.

Synonyms:

loosen; loose

Context example:

loosen the tension on a rope

Hypernyms (to "loose" is one way to...):

alter; change; modify (cause to change; make different; cause a transformation)

Cause:

loose; loosen; relax (become loose or looser or less tight)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "loose"):

relax; unbend (make less tight)

remit; slacken (make slack as by lessening tension or firmness)

slack (release tension on)

unscrew (loosen something by unscrewing it)

unscrew (loosen by turning)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Somebody ----s somebody
Something ----s somebody
Something ----s something


Sense 4loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Become loose or looser or less tight

Classified under:

Verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.

Synonyms:

relax; loose; loosen

Context examples:

The noose loosened / the rope relaxed

Hypernyms (to "loose" is one way to...):

weaken (become weaker)

Sentence frames:

Something ----s
Somebody ----s


LOOSE (adverb)


Sense 1loose [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Without restraint

Synonyms:

free; loose

Context example:

cows in India are running loose

Pertainym:

loose (not restrained or confined or attached)


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
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 LOOSE: related words searches 

 Related FAQs: 
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