Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Whether they will or no, I see I must swing a looser tongue, or you'll be showing me the door.

And by what College of Cardinals is this our God's-vicar, our binder and looser, elected?

Looser of the locked and lusty winds from their misty caves.

Had my skin been any looser I should certainly have jumped out of it.

You see, the ashes get looser as we climb higher, and the mountain steeper.

The fencer who wears also a breastplate may be looser in his guard.

In the fourteenth century a looser kind of handling is observed.

Patagium complete, enveloping the whole disk with the arms, and forming a larger elliptical disk of looser framework.

Patagium incomplete, enveloping only the basal half of the arms, and forming a circular disk of looser framework.

The thicker and looser the texture of woolen goods the greater will be the warmth.


early 13c., "not securely fixed;" c.1300, "unbound," from Old Norse lauss "loose, free, vacant, dissolute," cognate with Old English leas "devoid of, false, feigned, incorrect," from Proto-Germanic *lausaz (cf. Danish løs "loose, untied," Swedish lös "loose, movable, detached," Middle Dutch, German los "loose, free," Gothic laus "empty, vain"), from PIE *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart" (see lose). Meaning "not clinging, slack" is mid-15c. Meaning "not bundled" is late 15c. Sense of "unchaste, immoral" is recorded from late 15c. Meaning "at liberty, free from obligation" is 1550s. Sense of "rambling, disconnected" is from 1680s. Figurative sense of loose cannon was in use by 1896, probably from celebrated image in a popular story by Hugo:

Loose end in reference to something unfinished, undecided, unguarded is from 1540s; to be at loose ends is from 1807. Phrase on the loose "free, unrestrained" is from 1749 (upon the loose).


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.