If something is loose, it’s too big, or it moves when it should be secure. If a person or an animal is loose, it has escaped from confinement, or it’s a person who isn’t very careful. The word "loose" is also the opposite of the adjective "tight."

  • Little Edgar has a loose tooth. He’s probably going to lose it soon.
  • The hinge on the door is loose. It has to be fixed.
  • These pants feel a little loose. I think I’m losing weight.
  • Some kids let a few mice loose in the school as a prank.
  • There are a few criminals loose in our neighborhood, so everyone is keeping their doors locked.
  • My dog is loose.

To form a verb, add "en" to the end of "loose" to form "loosen."

  • Loosen your tie and relax. The work day is over.
  • The government is loosening its restrictions on gun ownership.
  • Peter loosened up before the match by stretching and exercising.
  • Some practical joker loosened Bill’s front tire and it fell off.

loose tireHis tire fell off.

There are a few expressions that make use of the word "loose."

  • The housekeepers find a lot of loose change when they vacuum the couches and chairs. (loose change = money, coins. If you find it, you can keep it.)
  • Joe Biden is kind of a loose cannon. You never know what he’s going to say. (loose cannon = a person who says or does things without careful consideration)
  • Politicians generally play fast and loose with the truth.
  • Older people in the apartment building think that Eva is a loose woman, but she’s actually very conservative.

Click here to learn more words.

Published on October 29, 2014