What does loose mean?

Definitions for loose

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word loose.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. looseadjective

    not compact or dense in structure or arrangement

    "loose gravel"

  2. looseadjective

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

    "a loose ball"

  3. looseadjective

    not tight; not closely constrained or constricted or constricting

    "loose clothing"; "the large shoes were very loose"

  4. informal, looseadjective

    not officially recognized or controlled

    "an informal agreement"; "a loose organization of the local farmers"

  5. free, loose, liberaladjective

    not literal

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

  6. lax, looseadjective

    emptying easily or excessively

    "loose bowels"

  7. unaffixed, looseadjective

    not affixed

    "the stamp came loose"

  8. loose, slackadjective

    not tense or taut

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

  9. loose, openadjective

    (of textures) full of small openings or gaps

    "an open texture"; "a loose weave"

  10. idle, looseadjective

    lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility

    "idle talk"; "a loose tongue"

  11. looseadjective

    not carefully arranged in a package

    "a box of loose nails"

  12. at large(p), escaped, loose, on the loose(p)adjective

    having escaped, especially from confinement

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

  13. easy, light, loose, promiscuous, sluttish, wantonverb

    casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior

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

  14. free, liberate, release, unloose, unloosen, looseverb

    grant freedom to; free from confinement

  15. unleash, let loose, looseverb

    turn loose or free from restraint

    "let loose mines"; "Loose terrible plagues upon humanity"

  16. loosen, looseverb

    make loose or looser

    "loosen the tension on a rope"

  17. loosen, relax, looseadverb

    become loose or looser or less tight

    "The noose loosened"; "the rope relaxed"

  18. loose, freeadverb

    without restraint

    "cows in India are running loose"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Looseadjective

    Etymology: from the verb.

    If he should intend his voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on my head. William Shakespeare.

    Lo! I see four men loose walking. Dan. iii. 25.

    Those few that clashed might rebound after the collision; or if they cohered, yet by the next conflict might be separated again, and so on in an eternal vicissitude of fast and loose, though without ever consociating into the bodies of planets. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    With extended wings a host might pass,
    With horse and chariots, rank’d in loose array. John Milton.

    Fair Venus seem’d unto his bed to bring
    Her, whom he waking evermore did ween
    To be the chastest flower that ay did spring
    On earthly branch, the daughter of a king,
    Now a loose leman to vile service bound. Fairy Queen.

    When loose epistles violate chaste eyes,
    She half consents who silently denies. John Dryden, Ovid.

    If an author be loose and diffuse in his stile, the translator needs only regard the propriety of the language. Henry Felton.

    It is but a loose thing to speak of possibilities, without the particular designs; so is it to speak of lawfulness without the particular cases. Francis Bacon, holy War.

    It seems unaccountable to be so exact in the quantity of liquor where a small error was of little concern, and to be so loose in the doses of powerful medicines. Arbuthnot.

    Because conscience, and the fear of swerving from that which is right, maketh them diligent observers of circumstances, the loose regard whereof is the nurse of vulgar folly. Richard Hooker, b. v.

    I dare venture nothing without a strict examination; and am as much ashamed to put a loose indigested play upon the publick, as I should be to offer brass money in a payment. John Dryden, Spanish Friar. Dedication to his.

    Vario spends whole mornings in running over loose and unconnected pages, and with fresh curiosity is ever glancing over new words and ideas, and yet treasures up but little knowledge. Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind, p. i.

    What hath a great influence upon the health, is going to stool regularly: people that are very loose have seldom strong thoughts, or strong bodies. John Locke, on Education.

    Their prevailing principle is, to sit as loose from those pleasures, and be as moderate in the use of them, as they can. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    Now I stand
    Loose of my vow; but who knows Cato’s thoughts. Addis.

    They did not let prisoners loose homeward. Isa. xiv. 17.

    Wish the wildest tempests loose;
    That thrown again upon the coast,
    I may once more repeat my pain. Matthew Prior.

    If to break loose from the conduct or reason, and to want that restraint of examination which keeps us from chusing the worse, be liberty, madmen and fools are only the freemen. John Locke.

    Like two black storms on either hand,
    Our Spanish army and the Indians stand;
    This only space betwixt the clouds is clear,
    Where you, like day, broke loose from both appear. Dryd.

    And let the living bird loose into the open field. Lev. xiv. 7.

    We ourselves make our fortunes good or bad; and when God lets loose a tyrant upon us, or a sickness, if we fear to die, or know not to be patient, the calamity sits heavy upon us. Jeremy Taylor, holy Living.

    In addition and division, either of space or duration, it is the number of its repeated additions or divisions that alone remains distinct, as will appear to any one who will let his thoughts loose in the vast expansion of space, or divisibility of matter. John Locke.

    If one way of improvement cannot be made a recreation, they must be let loose to the childish play they fancy; which they should be weaned from, by being made surfeit of it. John Locke, on Education.

  2. Loosenoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Come, and forsake thy cloying store,
    And all the busy pageantry
    That wise men scorn, and fools adore:
    Come, give thy soul a loose, and taste the pleasures of the poor. John Dryden, Horace.

    Lucia, might my big swoln heart
    Vent all its griefs, and give a loose to sorrow,
    Marcia could answer thee in sighs. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    The fiery Pegasus disdains
    To mind the rider’s voice, or hear the reins;
    When glorious fields and opening camps he views,
    He runs with an unbounded loose. Matthew Prior.

    Poets should not, under a pretence of imitating the antients, give themselves such a loose in lyricks, as if there were no connection in the world. Henry Felton, on the Classicks.

    Air at large maketh no noise, except it be sharply percussed; as in the sound of a string, where air is percussed by a hard and stiff body, and with a sharp loose. Francis Bacon.

  3. To Looseverb

    Etymology: lesan , Saxon.

    The shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. Acts.

    Canst thou loose the bands of Orion. Job xxxviii. 31.

    Who is worthy to loose the seals thereof. Rev. v. 2.

    This is to cut the knot when we cannot loose it. Burnet.

    The joints of his loins were loosed. Dan. v. 6.

    Loose and bring him to me. Luke xix. 30.

    He loosed, and set at liberty, four or five kings of the people of that country, that Berok kept in chains. George Abbot.

    Loose those appointed to death. Psal. cii. 20.

    The captive hasteneth that he may be loosed. Isaiah.

    Art thou loosed from a wife, seek not a wife. 1 Cor. vii.

    Ay; there’s the man, who, loos’d from lust and pelf,
    Less to the pretor owes than to himself. John Dryden, Persius.

    Woman, thou art loosed from thy infirmity. Luke xiii. 12.

    When heav’n was nam’d, they loos’d their hold again,
    Then sprung she forth, they follow’d her amain. Dryden.

  4. To Looseverb

    To set sail; to depart by loosing the anchor.

    Ye should have hearkened, and not have loosed from Crete. Acts xxvii. 21.

    The emperor loosing from Barcelona, came to the port of Mago, in the island of Minorca. Richard Knolles, Hist. of the Turks.

    Loosing thence by night, they were driven by contrary winds back into his port. Walter Raleigh.


  1. loose

    The term "loose" generally refers to something that is not tightly bound or secured, characterized by a lack of tightness, restraint, or firmness. It can also describe something that is not specific or precise, or lacks strict rules or guidelines. Additionally, "loose" can be used to describe a person who is not rigid or formal in their behavior or thinking, often exhibiting a relaxed or casual manner.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Loose

    unbound; untied; unsewed; not attached, fastened, fixed, or confined; as, the loose sheets of a book

  2. Loose

    free from constraint or obligation; not bound by duty, habit, etc. ; -- with from or of

  3. Loose

    not tight or close; as, a loose garment

  4. Loose

    not dense, close, compact, or crowded; as, a cloth of loose texture

  5. Loose

    not precise or exact; vague; indeterminate; as, a loose style, or way of reasoning

  6. Loose

    not strict in matters of morality; not rigid according to some standard of right

  7. Loose

    unconnected; rambling

  8. Loose

    lax; not costive; having lax bowels

  9. Loose

    dissolute; unchaste; as, a loose man or woman

  10. Loose

    containing or consisting of obscene or unchaste language; as, a loose epistle

  11. Loosenoun

    freedom from restraint

  12. Loosenoun

    a letting go; discharge

  13. Looseadjective

    to untie or unbind; to free from any fastening; to remove the shackles or fastenings of; to set free; to relieve

  14. Looseadjective

    to release from anything obligatory or burdensome; to disengage; hence, to absolve; to remit

  15. Looseadjective

    to relax; to loosen; to make less strict

  16. Looseadjective

    to solve; to interpret

  17. Looseverb

    to set sail

  18. Etymology: [OE. loos, lous, laus, Icel. lauss; akin to OD. loos, D. los, AS. les false, deceitful, G. los, loose, Dan. & Sw. ls, Goth. laus, and E. lose. 127. See Lose, and cf. Leasing falsehood.]


  1. Loose

    Loose is the third studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado. It was released in North America on 20 June 2006 by Geffen Records. Timbaland and his protégé Danja produced the bulk of the album, which incorporates influences of dance, R&B and hip hop. The album explores the theme of female sexuality and has been described as introspective or even sad in parts. The album received criticism because of the sexual image Furtado adopted for the recording, as some critics felt it was a ploy to sell more records. Further controversy rose over accusations of plagiarism on Timbaland's part when recordings were leaked onto YouTube. The record was seen generally as critically and commercially successful. It reached high positions on charts across the world, and according to an August 2009 press release, it had sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling album of 2006–07 and the twenty-second best-selling album of the 2000s. The album was heavily promoted, released in several editions and supported by the Get Loose Tour, which is the subject of the concert DVD Loose: The Concert. Eight singles were released from the album, including the US number-one singles "Promiscuous" and "Say It Right", which received Grammy Award nominations for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, respectively. Other standout singles include the UK number-one single "Maneater" and the successful song "All Good Things".

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Loose

    lōōs, adj. slack, free: unbound: not confined: not compact: indefinite: vague: not strict: unrestrained: lax in principle: licentious: inattentive.—adj. Loose′-bod′ied, flowing.—n. Loose′-kir′tle, a wanton.—adv. Loose′ly.—ns. Loos′ener, a laxative; Loose′ness, the state of being loose: diarrhœa.—Loose box, a part of a stable where horses are kept untied.—Break loose, to escape from confinement; Give a loose to, to give free vent to; Let loose, to set at liberty. [A.S. leás, loose; from the same root as loose (v.t.) and lose, seen also in Goth. laus, Ger. los; more prob. due to Ice. lauss.]

  2. Loose

    lōōs, v.t. to free from any fastening: to release: to relax: (Spens.) to solve.—v.i. (B.) to set sail.—v.t. Loos′en, to make loose: to relax anything tied or rigid: to make less dense; to open, as the bowels.—v.i. to become loose: to become less tight. [A.S. lósian; Ger. lösen, Goth. lausjan, to loose.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. loose

    Not close or compact. “With horse and chariots ranked in loose array.”

Suggested Resources

  1. loose

    Song lyrics by loose -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by loose on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. LOOSE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Loose is ranked #12807 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Loose surname appeared 2,408 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Loose.

    95.9% or 2,310 total occurrences were White.
    1.6% or 39 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    0.8% or 21 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.7% or 18 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.4% or 11 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.3% or 9 total occurrences were Black.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'loose' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3754

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'loose' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3350

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'loose' in Adjectives Frequency: #490

How to pronounce loose?

How to say loose in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of loose in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of loose in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of loose in a Sentence

  1. Donald Knuth:

    In fact what I would like to see is thousands of computer scientists let loose to do whatever they want. That's what really advances the field.

  2. Comedian Artie Lange:

    Political correctness is the direct enemy of comedy. Humor is to feel loose and not take yourself too seriously, you should be able to joke about everything race, religion ; sexuality. Everything should be okay to joke about.

  3. Meghan Markle:

    It was just a loose conversation. ... I think he was open to the experiment.

  4. Leader Moore:

    I'm definitely feeling a lot better, and I'm hitting the ball a little bit better, i just need to not make a couple loose mistakes like I did today.

  5. Walt Whitman:

    I am for those who believe in loose delights, I share the midnight orgies of young men, I dance with the dancers and drink with the drinkers.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for loose

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • فضفاضArabic
  • sypký, volný, uvolněnýCzech
  • lösen, lockern, ausschweifend, loslassen, locker, lose, entspannt, zügellos, indiskretGerman
  • soltar, libertino, indiscreto, liberar, golfo, promiscuo, relajado, suelto, flojo, desatar, desabrochar, aflojarSpanish
  • گشاد, سست, لقPersian
  • irrottaa, löysätä, rento, epäsiveellinen, irto, vapauttaa, avara, [[päästää]] [[irti]], ampua, löyhätapainen, löyhä, irtonainen, sulava, väljä, löysä, huolimaton, irtiFinnish
  • lâche, défaireFrench
  • scaoil, scaoilte, scaoilteach, scaoil amachIrish
  • sgaoilteScottish Gaelic
  • lazaHungarian
  • missa, sleppa, fyrirgjöraIcelandic
  • sciolto, disfare, sfusoItalian
  • מְשׁוּחרָרHebrew
  • ゆるむJapanese
  • 헐거운Korean
  • سووک, شلKurdish
  • tūtangatanga, tarau makere, tangatangaMāori
  • longgarMalay
  • mul, loslaten, lossen, ontspannen, verlossen, ruim, losmaken, losDutch
  • liberar, relaxado, libertar, largo, desembalado, afrouxar, soltar, indiscreto, solto, frouxo, promíscuo, desamarrar, atirarPortuguese
  • dezlegaRomanian
  • свободный, распутный, несдержанный, расслабленный, рыхлый, отвязывать, ослабить, ослаблять, развязывать, распущенный, неосторожный, расстёгивать, отпустить, неутрамбованный, неприкреплённый, освобождать, освободить, широкий, неупакованный, отвязать, развязанный, расстегнуть, непривязанный, развязать, отпускать, просторныйRussian
  • lösSwedish
  • தளர்வானTamil
  • గట్టిగా బిగించని, త్యజించు, అనుమతించు, గట్టిగా కట్టని, సరిపోని, నిదానింపజేయు, వదులు చేయు, వత్తిడి లేకుండా, కాల్చడం ఆరంభించుటTelugu
  • вільнийUkrainian
  • rộngVietnamese
  • פרייַYiddish
  • 疏鬆Chinese

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    soft creamy candy
    • A. attend
    • B. emerge
    • C. demolish
    • D. fudge

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