- 1[transitive, intransitive] loosen (something) to make something less tight or firmly fixed; to become less tight or firmly fixed synonym slacken First loosen the nuts, then take off the wheel. The rope holding the boat loosened.
- 2[transitive] loosen something to make a piece of clothing, hair, etc. loose, when it has been tied or fastened She loosened her hair so that it fell over her shoulders.
- 3[transitive] loosen your hands, hold, etc. to hold somebody/something less tightly He loosened his grip and let her go. (figurative) The military regime has not loosened its hold on power.
- 4[transitive] loosen something to make something weaker or less controlled than before synonym relax The party has loosened its links with big business. opposite tightenIdioms to make somebody talk more freely than usual A bottle of wine had loosened Harry's tongue. Phrasal Verbsloosen uploosen up
BrE BrE//ˈluːsn//; NAmE NAmE//ˈluːsn//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they loosen
BrE BrE//ˈluːsn//; NAmE NAmE//ˈluːsn//he / she / it loosens
BrE BrE//ˈluːsnz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈluːsnz//past simple loosened
BrE BrE//ˈluːsnd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈluːsnd//past participle loosened
BrE BrE//ˈluːsnd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈluːsnd//-ing form loosening
BrE BrE//ˈluːsnɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈluːsnɪŋ//