1 /lu:s/ adjective
1 NOT FIXED not firmly fixed in place: One of my buttons is loose. | a loose floorboard | come/work loose (=become loose): A piece of stair carpet had come loose.
2 ROPE/CHAIN ETC a rope, chain etc that is loose is not fastened as firmly or pulled as tight as it should be
3 CLOTHES clothes that are loose are big and do not fit your body tightly: a loose sweatshirt
4 FREE an animal or person that is loose is free to move around and not tied to anything or shut in anywhere: break/get loose (=get free): Somehow the horses had broken loose during the night. | turn/let sth loose (=let something go free): Don't let your dog loose if there are any sheep around.
5 NOT TOGETHER not tied together, fastened to anything else, or put together in one package: Do they sell these olives loose? | Do you like loose tea, or teabags? | Her hair fell loose around her shoulders.
6 CLOTH/A KNOT ETC tied or woven in a way that is not tight: a loose knot | a loose weave
7 NOT EXACT (usually before noun) not exact or thoroughly done: loose translation/interpretation etc: This is only a loose translation of the original paper.
8 NOT CONTROLLED not strictly controlled or organized: a loose, informal trading system
9 IMMORAL old-fashioned behaving in a way that is considered to be sexually immoral: a loose woman
10 TALK old-fashioned not careful about what you say or who is listening: There's been a bit of loose talk about it.
11 BODY WASTE not technical having a problem in which the waste from your bowels has too much liquid in it: loose motions | He's a bit loose in the mornings.
12 cut loose
a) to free yourself from the influence of someone or something: Anna had finally managed to cut loose from her father's domineering influence.
b) AmE informal to start enjoying yourself in a happy, noisy way after a period of controlled behaviour: After the exams we'll really have a chance to cut loose.
13 let sb loose on sth to allow someone to deal with something in the way they want to: Whatever you do, don't let Derek loose on the garden!
14 be at a loose end also be at loose ends AmE to have nothing to do: I was at a loose end so I decided to go see an old movie.
15 loose ends parts of something that have not been completed or properly done: tie up the loose ends (=complete something, or deal with any remaining problems): It's a good report but there are still a few loose ends to be tied up.
16 loose change coins that you have in your bag or pocket: I've got twenty quid and a bit of loose change as well.
17 hang/stay loose AmE spoken used to tell someone to stay calm, or not to worry about something
- loosely adverb: Just tie it loosely. | Loosely translated it means `watch out'. - looseness noun (U) 2 verb (T)
1 to untie someone or something, especially an animal
2 literary to fire an arrow (1), a shot from a gun etc
3 to make something unpleasant begin: The recent court case has loosed a spate of racist attacks.
loose sth on/upon phrasal verb (T) to allow something dangerous or destructive to begin to affect a situation or other people: A potentially lethal drug has been loosed upon unsuspecting kids looking for a quick high. 3 adverb loosely -see also: play fast and loose with fast 2 (10) 4 noun be on the loose if a criminal or dangerous animal is on the loose, they have escaped from prison or from their cage

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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