Definition of loose adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//luːs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//luːs//
    (looser, loosest) Immoral, Describing clothes
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    not fixed/tied
  1. 1  not firmly fixed where it should be; able to become separated from something a loose button/tooth Check that the plug has not come loose.
  2. 2  not tied together; not held in position by anything or contained in anything She usually wears her hair loose. The potatoes were sold loose, not in bags.
  3. 3  [not usually before noun] free to move around without control; not tied up or shut in somewhere The sheep had got out and were loose on the road. The horse had broken loose (= escaped) from its tether. During the night, somebody had cut the boat loose from its moorings.
  4. clothes
  5. 4  not fitting closely a loose shirt opposite tight See related entries: Describing clothes
  6. not solid/hard
  7. 5  not tightly packed together; not solid or hard loose soil a fabric with a loose weave
  8. not strict/exact
  9. 6not strictly organized or controlled a loose alliance/coalition/federation a loose association of artists, writers and composers
  10. 7not exact; not very careful a loose translation loose thinking
  11. immoral
  12. 8[usually before noun] (old-fashioned) having or involving an attitude to sexual relationships that people consider to be immoral a young man of loose morals See related entries: Immoral
  13. ball
  14. 9(sport) not in any player’s control He pounced on a loose ball.
  15. body waste
  16. 10having too much liquid in it a baby with loose bowel movements
  17. Word OriginMiddle English loos ‘free from bonds’, from Old Norse lauss, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German los.Extra examples He felt he had to cut loose from his family. Her hair hung loose about her shoulders. I let my hair fall loose down my back. I’m going to let the dogs loose. One of the bricks feels slightly loose. Shall I wear my hair loose? The animals had broken loose from their pens. The committees work within fairly loose guidelines. The top of the tap has come loose. During the night, somebody had cut the boat loose from its moorings. The horse had broken loose from its tether. This book is an antidote for much of the loose thinking in the world of today. This is only a loose translation as I am not fluent in Japanese.Idioms (informal) suddenly there was a lot of noise, arguing, fighting or confusion There was a loud bang and then all hell broke loose.
    break/cut/tear (somebody/something) loose from somebody/something
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    to separate yourself or somebody/something from a group of people or their influence, etc. The organization broke loose from its sponsors. He cut himself loose from his family.
    (informal, especially North American English) to remain calm; to not worry It's OK—hang loose and stay cool. to talk too much, especially about things that are private to be slightly strange in your behaviour
    let loose (British English) (North American English cut loose)
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    (informal) to do something or to happen in a way that is not controlled Teenagers need a place to let loose.
    to make a noise or remark, especially in a loud or sudden way She let loose a stream of abuse.
      let somebody/something loose
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    1. 1to free somebody/something from whatever holds them/it in place She let her hair loose and it fell around her shoulders. Who's let the dog loose?
    2. 2to give somebody complete freedom to do what they want in a place or situation He was at last let loose in the kitchen. A team of professionals were let loose on the project.
    play fast and loose (with somebody/something)
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    (old-fashioned) to treat somebody/something in a way that shows that you feel no responsibility or respect for them
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: loose