loosen

loosen
verb
1 (I, T) to make something less tight or less firmly fixed, or to become less tight or less firmly fixed: You'll need a spanner to loosen that bolt. | Check the plug - there may be a loosened connection.
2 (T) to unfasten something, especially something you are wearing: Harry loosened his tie.
3 (T) to make laws, rules etc less strict: It was time to loosen economic constraints.
4 loosen your grip/hold
a) to reduce the control or power you have over someone or something: as communism began to loosen its hold on eastern Europe
b) to start holding someone less tightly than you were before
(+ on): The policeman loosened his grip on my arm.
5 loosen sb's tongue to make someone talk more freely than usual, for example by making them drunk
loosen up phrasal verb
1 (intransitive, transitive loosen something up) to exercise your muscles and joints to make them work more easily, especially before playing a sport or running; warm-up
2 (I) to stop worrying and become more relaxed: Try and loosen up a bit!

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • loosen — ► VERB 1) make or become loose. 2) (loosen up) warm up in preparation for an activity. ● loosen someone s tongue Cf. ↑loosen someone s tongue DERIVATIVES loosener noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Loosen — Loos en (l[=oo]s n), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Loosened} (l[=oo]s nd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Loosening}.] [See {Loose}, v. t.] 1. To make loose; to free from tightness, tension, firmness, or fixedness; to make less dense or compact; as, to loosen a string …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • loosen up — (someone) to behave in a relaxed, informal way. Slowly she began to loosen up and, by the second semester, she was making friends with her classmates. The question was supposed to loosen people up and chase away their anxieties …   New idioms dictionary

  • loosen — [lo͞os′ən] vt., vi. to make or become loose or looser; specif., a) to free from confinement or restraint; unbind, unfasten, etc. b) to make less taut, less compact, etc. ☆ loosen up Informal 1. to talk freely 2. to give money generously 3. to… …   English World dictionary

  • Loosen — Loos en, v. i. To become loose; to become less tight, firm, or compact. S. Sharp. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • loosen — index disencumber, disentangle, disenthrall, dissociate, ease, extricate, give (yield), remit ( …   Law dictionary

  • Loosen — Forme génitive du néerlandais Loos, surnom désignant une personne rusée. Loos est aussi en allemand un hypocoristique de Ludwig (= Louis). Enfin, c est parfois un toponyme avec le sens de prairie marécageuse (germanique lauth) …   Noms de famille

  • loosen — (v.) late 14c., losnen, later lousen (early 15c.), from LOOSE (Cf. loose) (v.) + EN (Cf. en) (1). Related: Loosened; loosening …   Etymology dictionary

  • loosen — loos|en [ˈlu:sən] v 1.) [I and T] to make something less tight or less firmly fastened, or to become less tight or less firmly fastened ≠ ↑tighten ▪ You ll need a spanner to loosen that bolt. ▪ The screws have loosened. ▪ Harry loosened his tie.… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • loosen — [[t]lu͟ːs(ə)n[/t]] loosens, loosening, loosened 1) VERB If someone loosens restrictions or laws, for example, they make them less strict or severe. [V n] Many business groups have been pressing the Federal Reserve to loosen interest rates... [V… …   English dictionary

  • loosen — UK [ˈluːs(ə)n] / US [ˈlus(ə)n] verb Word forms loosen : present tense I/you/we/they loosen he/she/it loosens present participle loosening past tense loosened past participle loosened 1) [intransitive/transitive] to become or make something less… …   English dictionary

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