2. Unrestrained: "Foot loose and fancy free" is an expression to suggest someone is unattached and can enjoy him or herself.
3. Not compact or dense: The loose gravel on the road made driving difficult.
4. Descriptive of a free interpretation: That is not a literal, but a loose translation of the President’s speech.
2. To fail in keeping something under constraint or to confine; failure to maintain a thing: Myrna is afraid that she will lose control and start to cry at the movie.
When Jill is hiking, she is always afraid that she will lose her balance and fall.3. Failure to stay focused on a subject or idea: Jack asked, "Did Lucy lose your attention when she was speaking?"
An example of how some people misuse lose and loose:
"I just got my kindle 2 last week and it is wonderful for reading. I suffer from double vision and even with corrective lenses I often loose my place in print books. The Kindle allows me to increase the font size so that I can read easily and fast without loosing my place."
It is easy to lose one's keys; especially, if they are dropped on the loose gravel in the driveway. When that happens, Wayne is always afraid that he will lose his temper and give a loose rendition of a speech that is filled with indecorous (improper) terms.
The loosest shingles on the roof had to be replaced.2. Not pulled or stretched tight or not fitting close to the body: Anton always wore a loose belt.
Emily likes to wear loose skirts.3. Descriptive of something that is not in a physically normal situation: The loose dog was wandering around the neighborhood.
4. Not held together in a solid or tight mass: The loosest dirt was used for the flower pots.
5. Not stiff or tense: Elvin didn't relax today because he just couldn't get loose.
6. That which is not exact or precise: Roscoe presented a very loose translation of the code.
The book is a dictionary in the loose sense of the meaning of what word definitions should be.7. Not being careful in speech or talking too freely: Solomon needs to remember that loose talk can spread misinformation.
In a figurative sense: The riots have loosed an epidemic of violence in the city.2. To shoot or to fire something; such as, arrows, missiles, or bullets: The soldiers loosed a volley of rifle fire at the advancing enemy forces.
I probably should have been more precise with my discussion about “lose” and the [sic] example of “loose”. Whenever we mean that something has been lost, we should NEVER say, “I loose the hounds” or “I loosened the hounds” OR “The quarter back loosed his grip on the football” when LOST is meant!
The [sic] misuses are when people replace “lose” with “loose”. Again, I should have written, “... we NEVER loose’ anything when to lose’ is meant! They are two different verbs with different meanings and should not be confused. It’s certainly correct to say, “I let the dogs loose so they could run around (for example).” I maintain that it is unacceptable to say, “I loosed the dogs and I don’t know where they are” when “I lost the dogs .... ” is meant. Does this clarify the point?
I do appreciate the comments from readers. If nothing else, they make me aware that I must be more precise and probably should not have sent the letter out when I was so tired. It was after 2:30 a.m. (where I am) when I submitted the letter to the web and I wanted to get it out to see if it would go out properly (over the internet, that is).
For those who wrote, thank you. It means you’re paying attention and that’s better than being ignored. This reminds me of something I read recently about the “conspiracy of silence”. The phrase was coined by Sir Lewis Morris, a minor poet of the Victorian era. He wanted to be Poet Laureate in England but he never gained this honor. He claimed that critics were jealous of him and, as a result, damned his poetry when they bothered to mention it at all. He once complained at length to Oscar Wilde of this treatment, finally saying: “Oscar, there’s a conspiracy of silence against me. What shall I do?” Wilde replied simply: “Join it!”