• There's certainly a screw loose somewhere
    There's certainly a screw loose somewhere
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj loose not affixed "the stamp came loose"
    • adj loose casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior "her easy virtue","he was told to avoid loose (or light) women","wanton behavior"
    • adj loose not compact or dense in structure or arrangement "loose gravel"
    • adj loose (of a ball in sport) not in the possession or control of any player "a loose ball"
    • adj loose emptying easily or excessively "loose bowels"
    • adj loose not literal "a loose interpretation of what she had been told","a free translation of the poem"
    • adj loose having escaped, especially from confinement "a convict still at large","searching for two escaped prisoners","dogs loose on the streets","criminals on the loose in the neighborhood"
    • adj loose not tight; not closely constrained or constricted or constricting "loose clothing","the large shoes were very loose"
    • adj loose not officially recognized or controlled "an informal agreement","a loose organization of the local farmers"
    • adj loose not carefully arranged in a package "a box of loose nails"
    • adj loose lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility "idle talk","a loose tongue"
    • adj loose (of textures) full of small openings or gaps "an open texture","a loose weave"
    • adj loose not tense or taut "the old man's skin hung loose and grey","slack and wrinkled skin","slack sails","a slack rope"
    • adv loose without restraint "cows in India are running loose"
    • v loose become loose or looser or less tight "The noose loosened","the rope relaxed"
    • v loose make loose or looser "loosen the tension on a rope"
    • v loose turn loose or free from restraint "let loose mines","Loose terrible plagues upon humanity"
    • v loose grant freedom to; free from confinement
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In Sterling, Colorado, it is unlawful to allow a pet cat to run loose without a taillight.
    • Loose A letting go; discharge. "Vent all its griefs, and give a loose to sorrow."
    • Loose Containing or consisting of obscene or unchaste language; as, a loose epistle.
    • Loose Dissolute; unchaste; as, a loose man or woman. "Loose ladies in delight."
    • Loose 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 ?"
    • Loose Freedom from restraint.
    • Loose Lax; not costive; having lax bowels.
    • Loose Not dense, close, compact, or crowded; as, a cloth of loose texture. "With horse and chariots ranked in loose array."
    • Loose 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."
    • Loose Not strict in matters of morality; not rigid according to some standard of right. "The loose morality which he had learned."
    • Loose Not tight or close; as, a loose garment.
    • Loose To relax; to loosen; to make less strict. "The joints of his loins were loosed ."
    • Loose To release from anything obligatory or burdensome; to disengage; hence, to absolve; to remit. "Art thou loosed from a wife ? seek not a wife.""Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
    • v. i Loose To set sail.
    • Loose To solve; to interpret.
    • Loose 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 ?""Ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her; loose them, and bring them unto me."
    • Loose 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."
    • Loose Unconnected; rambling. "Vario spends whole mornings in running over loose and unconnected pages."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as 'Ke-kou-ke-la.' Unfortunately, the Company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means 'bite the wax tadpole' or 'female horse stuffed with wax' depending on the dialect. Coke then researched Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, 'ko-kou-ko-le,' which can be loosely translated as 'happiness in the mouth.'
    • loose Not fast or confined; not fastened; unattached; free from restraint or obligation; not bound to another or together; without bonds, ties, or attachments; at liberty: as, loose sheets of a book; loose tresses of hair; loose change in one's pocket; to break loose; to be set loose; to cut loose from bad habits.
    • loose Not tight or close; without close union or adjustment; slightly or slackly joined: as, a loose knot; loose garments; a loose league or confederation.
    • loose Not dense or compact; having interstices or intervals; open or expanded: as, cloth of loose texture; a loose order of battle.
    • loose Not concise or condensed; wanting precision or connection of parts; diffuse; rambling: as, a loose style of writing; loose reasoning; a loose array of facts.
    • loose Not exact in meaning; indefinite; vague; uncertain.
    • loose Lax; relaxed; slack; wanting retentiveness or power of restraint: as, loose bowels; loose ties; a loose bond of union.
    • loose Lax in character or quality; not strict or exact; careless; slovenly: as, a loose construction of the constitution; a loose mode of conducting business; loose morality.
    • loose Lax in principle or conduct; free from moral restraint; wanton; dissolute; unchaste: as, a loose woman; loose behavior.
    • loose Disengaged; free; independent: with from or of.
    • loose Seemingly communicative; frank; open; candid.
    • n loose Freedom from restraint; license.
    • n loose The act of letting go or letting fly; discharge; shot.
    • n loose A solution of a problem or explanation of a difficulty.
    • n loose The privilege of turning out cattle on commons.
    • loose To make loose or free; release from that which restrains, confines, or hampers; set at liberty; disengage; discharge from constraint, obligation, or penalty.
    • loose To disengage the hold of; undo; unfasten; untie.
    • loose To relax; loosen; make or let loose, partially or wholly: as, to loose sail; to loose one's hold or grasp.
    • loose To solve; explain.
    • loose Synonyms To unfasten, let go, detach, disconnect, absolve, acquit.
    • loose To perform the act of loosening; make or set loose something; let go a hold, unmoor a ship, shoot an arrow, or the like.
    • loose In chem., not combined with anything else: as, carbon dioxid loose in the blood. The word free is more commonly used in this sense.
    • loose In geology, incoherent, as unconsolidated sands.
    • loose In coal-mining, free at the ends or sides: applied to a working-place when the coal has been previously mined on both sides: as, loose at one end, loose at one side, etc.
    • n loose In Rugby foot-ball, that part of the play in which the ball travels freely from player to player, as distinguished from the scrimmage.
    • n loose In mining, the end of a shift. Also loosing-time. When the workmen leave, the pit is said to be ‘loosed out.’
    • n loose In archery: The act of releasing the bow-string and discharging the arrow.
    • n loose The mode of performing this act, which differs among different peoples. In the primary or finger-and-thumb loose the arrow is grasped by the finger and thumb and pulled back against the string to draw the bow. The secondary and tertiary looses are similar, but the second and third fingers aid in pulling the bowstring. In the Mediterranean or finger-loose, in use by European archers, the arrow is held between the first and second fingers, and the string is pulled by the fingers, usually three, without the aid of the thumb. In the Mongolian loose the string is drawn by the thumb, usually by the aid of a drawing-ring. See drawing-ring.
    • loose In archery, to release (the bowstring) after the bow is drawn, thus discharging the arrow.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: "Toboggan" is derived from the Algonquin language and loosely meant "instrument with which to drag a cord."
    • adj Loose lōōs slack, free: unbound: not confined: not compact: indefinite: vague: not strict: unrestrained: lax in principle: licentious: inattentive
    • v.t Loose lōōs to free from any fastening: to release: to relax:
    • v.i Loose (B.) to set sail
    • v.i Loose to become loose: to become less tight
    • v.t Loose lōōs (Spens.) to solve
    • ***


  • William Butler Yeats
    “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned.”
  • Manly Hall
    Manly Hall
    “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.”
  • Jewish Proverb
    Jewish Proverb
    “Loose tongues are worse than wicked hands.”
  • Walt Whitman
    “I am for those who believe in loose delights, I share the midnight orgies of young men, I dance with the dancers and drink with the drinkers.”
  • Collis P. Huntingdon
    Collis P. Huntingdon
    “Whatever is not nailed down is mine. What I can pry loose is not nailed down.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.”


All hell broke loose - When all hell breaks loose, there is chaos, confusion and trouble.
At a loose end - (UK) If you are at a loose end, you have spare time but don't know what to do with it.
At loose ends - (USA) If you are at a loose end, you have spare time but don't know what to do with it.
Loose cannon - A person who is very difficult to control and unpredictable is a loose cannon.
Loose end - A loose end is an unresolved problem or unifinished business.
Loose lips sink ships - To have loose lips means to have a big mouth, susceptible to talking about everything and everyone. Sinking ships refers to anything from small acquaintances to long and hearty relationships (with friends or a significant other). So when one says loose lips sink ships, one is basically saying if you can't shut up you are going to end hurting people, usually psychologically or emotionally.Loose lips sink ships comes from World War I and/or WWII, when sailors on leave from their ships might talk about what ship they sailed on or where it had come from, or where it was going. If they talked too much (had 'loose lips') they might accidentally provide the enemy with anecdotal information that might later cause their ship to be tracked, and bombed and sunk, hence 'Loose lips sink ships.' Later, it came to mean any excessive talk might sabotage a project.
Play fast and loose - If people play fast and loose, they behave in an irresponsible way and don't respect rules, etc.
Screw loose - If someone has a screw loose, they are crazy.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. loos, lous, laus, Icel. lauss,; akin to OD. loos, D. los, AS. leás, false, deceitful, G. los, loose, Dan. & Sw. lös, Goth. laus, and E. lose,. √127. See Lose, and cf. Leasing falsehood
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. lósian; Ger. lösen, Goth. lausjan, to loose.


In literature:

Nobody looked for him to come back to Tullington after he got loose.
"Shorty McCabe on the Job" by Sewell Ford
These may be used for all kinds of material, loose fibre, yarns or cloth.
"The Dyeing of Cotton Fabrics" by Franklin Beech
On that Friday afternoon of the breaking-up he was, in the local phrase, at a loose end.
"Clayhanger" by Arnold Bennett
I've got no loose cash.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
There was stupefaction, then tongues were loosed.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
Give most Johnnies his pile and turn 'em loose, and what would they do?
"Shorty McCabe" by Sewell Ford
In order that they might graze properly it was necessary to let them loose.
"Across Unknown South America" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
The drug lost, or carelessly handled, could get loose.
"Beyond the Vanishing Point" by Raymond King Cummings
Never was New Englander more secretive and crafty; never Mississippian more loose, or licentious.
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid
And loose principles can be more dangerous than loose garments.
"My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year" by John Henry Jowett

In poetry:

Now I am thine, for ever thine,
Nor shall my purpose move
Thy hand hath loosed my bonds of pain,
And bound me with thy love.
"Psalm 116 part 2" by Isaac Watts
The woman turn'd her from the beach,
Loose flow'd her streaming hair,
And, louder than the white-rob'd gull,
She shriek'd in wild despair.
"The Fisherman's Wife" by Thomas Frederick Young
Farewell, for now my gallant bark,
Loosed from her mooring, quits the shore
Amid a fog and mist as dark
As that which spread old Egypt o'er.
"Descriptive Voyage From New York To Aspinwall" by James Madison Bell
Pinch of dust or withered flower,
Chance-flung nut or borrowed staff,
Serve his need and shore his power,
Bind the spell or loose the laugh!
"The Juggler's Song" by Rudyard Kipling
I hear the oaths, now number'd o'er,
Which I, among vile drunkards, swore —
My breaches of the sabbath day,
With each loose thing I us'd to say.
"The Unhappy State Of The Ungodly, After Death" by Rees Prichard
But now they put their grief away,
The pains of hell are loosed today;
For by the grave, with flashing eyes,
"Your Lord is risen," the angel cries.
"The Day Draws On With Golden Light" by Augusta Treverorum

In news:

New Albany senior Tanner Marcum get loose to score on an easy layup Friday against visiting Providence.
P olitically, Americans often use the word " coward " loosely and inaccurately.
In stained water, they'll use almost anything — rocks, weeds, loose wood, stumps and laydowns are all perfect places.
Police investigate burglary after call A radio call on the afternoon of Oct 22 from the Anoka Police Department has turned Elk River police loose on a burglary case.
Be careful if you're in Kilgore, because there's a cross-dressing liqour store robber on the loose.
Kelley Brownlow, coronation co-chairman, said Indochine is loosely based on Venetian explorer Marco Polo's journey through Asia.
Cincinnati defensive back Arryn Chenault (25) knocks the ball loose from Miami (Ohio) receiver Andy Cruse (15) in the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct 6, 2012, in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati's Devan Drane (11) caught the loose ball before it hit the ground, for an interception.
Police were called to investigate reports of a leopard on the loose in Bochum, Germany - only to find that the wild beast was not what it seemed.
It's no secret that we're obsessed with wavy hair at Cosmo—just look at the gorgeous loose curls on our celeb cover models every month.
At Allure, I'm known as one of the wave queens (I love when my naturally curly hair is smoothed into loose, sexy, beachy ripples).
REVIEWS Those Darlins, 'Screws Get Loose.
Meyer Sound M'elodie Cuts Loose At Dartmouth College .
Loose dirt climbs filled with big rocks was the norm throughout the park.
Ward Just's novel 'Rodin's Debutante ': converging lives, loose ends.

In science:

When the J ⊥ dominate, the ground state can be loosely thought of as being made up of singlet pairs.
Dynamics and transport in random quantum systems governed by strong-randomness fixed points
If this measure is, loosely speaking, concentrated on the sets of order c√N then if A and B are independent random variables with distribution given by the measure ρ then |A∩B | is asymptotically Poisson distributed with the parameter λ = c2 .
Gaussian Random Matrix Models for q-deformed Gaussian Random Variables
However, if N tends to infinity it can be justified that they are, loosely speaking, more and more independent.
Gaussian Random Matrix Models for q-deformed Gaussian Random Variables
For galaxy group luminosities and temperatures we choose the recent observations of Helsdon & Ponman (2000a) for loose groups.
Entropy Evolution in Galaxy Groups and Clusters; A Comparison of External and Internal Heating
More recently, these authors have shown that there is no distinction in the X-ray properties of loose and compact groups (Helsdon & Ponman 2000b).
Entropy Evolution in Galaxy Groups and Clusters; A Comparison of External and Internal Heating