1 loose /ˈluːs/ adjective
looser; loosest
1 loose
looser; loosest
Learner's definition of LOOSE
: not tightly fastened, attached, or held
: not pulled or stretched tight
of clothing : not fitting close to your body : not tight
: not physically held or contained
see also let loose 1 (below)
: not held together in a solid or tight mass
: not held together in a bundle, container, etc.
: not stiff or tense : flexible or relaxed
see also hang loose (below)
: not closely joined or united
: not exact or precise
: not careful in speech : talking too freely
sports : not controlled or held by any of the players in a game
old-fashioned : not respectable sexually : not decent or moral
of solid waste from the body : containing a larger than normal amount of fluid
also : producing loose stools

all hell breaks loose

see hell

break loose

see 1break

cut loose

cut (someone) loose : to stop supporting or employing (someone)
: to end an official relationship or agreement with (someone)
chiefly US, informal : to act in a free and relaxed way after behaving in a way that is controlled

hang loose

chiefly US, informal
: to remain calm and relaxed

have a screw loose, have a loose screw

see 1screw

let loose

let/set/turn (someone or something) loose : to allow (someone or something) to move or go freely
often used figuratively
: to produce (something, such as a cry) in a sudden and forceful way

play fast and loose

see 1play

— loosely


— looseness

noun [noncount]
2 loose /ˈluːs/ adverb
2 loose
Learner's definition of LOOSE
: in a way that does not fit close to your body
3 loose /ˈluːs/ verb
looses; loosed; loosing
3 loose
looses; loosed; loosing
Learner's definition of LOOSE
[+ object]
: to release or untie (an animal or person)
often used figuratively
: to make (something) less tight : loosen
: to shoot or fire (something, such as an arrow or a bullet)
4 loose /ˈluːs/ noun
4 loose
Learner's definition of LOOSE

on the loose

: able to move freely : not controlled or held in a prison, cage, etc. used especially to describe a dangerous person, animal, or group