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.
2. To be the cause of someone's failure to obtain, to win, or to maintain something: They made mistakes that lost the game for Jamie's team.
3. To be unable to find someone or something; usually, only temporarily: When Jim's mother was leaving the house, she reminded him not to lose his keys and to hold her hand because she didn't want to lose him.
4. To fail to win a victory at something; that is, a contest, an argument, a war, a game, or in a legal court: One careless statement lost the election for Shannon.
5. To be worse off, or worse off by a particular amount of money, as the result of a financial transaction or through an expenditure exceeding a person's income: They lost millions when the stock markets crashed.
6. To experience a reduction in something; such as, weight or heat: After dieting and working out, Mildred lost twenty percent of her weight.
7. To cease having a quality, belief, attitude, or characteristic: Sorry, but Henry has lost the will to live.
Nadine was afraid that she was losing her sanity.8. To cause a decrease in a person's ability or a physical sense which may be caused by illness or an accident: Marvin temporarily lost the feeling in his fingers after having hit his funny bone very hard while playing football.
9. To waste or to fail to take advantage of something; such as, time or an opportunity: Scot doesn't want to lose the opportunity of getting the right job.
Leila lost no time in getting the project started.10. Being unable to control an emotion or to maintain one's composure: Marcy loses her temper too often and too easily.
11. To suffer the passing away of someone because of death; such as, a loved one, a patient, or a baby before its birth: Our country has lost thousands of young men during the war on terrorism.
12. To succeed in escaping from or getting away from someone who is in following or chasing a person: Dee tried to lose the guy who was following her by turning down a side street and going into a restaurant so she could call the police for help.
13. To be unable to see or to hear someone or something any longer: Virginia has lost her hearing, but she doesn't want to use a hearing aid.
14. To fail to make someone understand something: During Hank's explanation, the woman he was talking to said that she had lost him; that is, she didn't understand what he was talking about.
Jim and Jenny understood the first part of the lecture very well; but when Rodney started to talk about advanced computer programming, he was losing his listeners completely.15. To get rid of someone or something that is unwanted or undesirable: Please lose those extra spaces between the lines.
Apparently Selma can't lose that cold.16. To fail to keep or to get something that is valued or desired: Simona was told that if she didn't invest in that company, she would be losing out on a great opportunity to gain more money.
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!”