An adjective meaning:
  1. The opposite of tight: "This bolt is loose."
  2. Unrestrained: "The cows are loose in the pasture."
  3. Promiscuous: "But the Greek soldiers' wives were at home! How could they possibly have been promiscuous?"

Although you have probably been told countless times to be careful not to "loose" your keys, "loose" has absolutely nothing to do with the verb "to lose".

Loose (?), a. [Compar. Looser (?); superl. Loosest.] [OE. loos, lous, laus, Icel. lauss; akin to OD. loos, D. los, AS. le�xa0;s false, deceitful, G. los, loose, Dan. & Sw. los, Goth. laus, and E. lose. See Lose, and cf. Leasing falsehood.]

1.

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

Her hair, nor loose, nor tied in formal plat. Shak.

2.

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

Now I stand Loose of my vow; but who knows Cato's thoughts ? Addison.

3.

Not tight or close; as, a loose garment.

4.

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

With horse and chariots ranked in loose array. Milton.

5.

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

The comparison employed . . . must be considered rather as a loose analogy than as an exact scientific explanation. Whewel.

6.

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

The loose morality which he had learned. Sir W. Scott.

7.

Unconnected; rambling.

Vario spends whole mornings in running over loose and unconnected pages. I. Watts.

8.

Lax; not costive; having lax bowels.

Locke.

9.

Dissolute; unchaste; as, a loose man or woman.

Loose ladies in delight. Spenser.

10.

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

Dryden.

At loose ends, not in order; in confusion; carelessly managed. -- Fast and loose. See under Fast. -- To break loose. See under Break. -- Loose pulley. Mach. See Fast and loose pulleys, under Fast. -- To let loose, to free from restraint or confinement; to set at liberty.

 

© Webster 1913.


Loose, n.

1.

Freedom from restraint.

[Obs.]

Prior.

2.

A letting go; discharge.

B. Jonson.

To give a loose, to give freedom.

Vent all its griefs, and give a loose to sorrow. Addison.

 

© Webster 1913.


Loose (?), v. n. [imp. & p. p. Loosed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Loosing.] [From Loose, a.]

1.

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

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

Ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her; loose them, and bring them unto me. Matt. xxi. 2.

2.

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

Art thou loosed from a wife ? seek not a wife. 1 Cor. vii. 27.

Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matt. xvi. 19.

3.

To relax; to loosen; to make less strict.

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

4.

To solve; to interpret.

[Obs.]

Spenser.

 

© Webster 1913.


Loose, v. i.

To set sail.

[Obs.]

Acts xiii. 13.

 

© Webster 1913.

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