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loosen Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb make loose or looser
    • loosen the tension on a rope
  2. verb make less severe or strict
    • The government relaxed the curfew after most of the rebels were caught
  3. verb become less severe or strict
    • The rules relaxed after the new director arrived
  4. verb disentangle and raise the fibers of
    tease apart; tease.
    • tease wool
  5. verb cause to become loose
    untie; undo.
    • undo the shoelace
    • untie the knot
    • loosen the necktie
  6. verb make less dense
    • loosen the soil
  7. verb become loose or looser or less tight
    loose; relax.
    • The noose loosened
    • the rope relaxed

Loos"en transitive verb
See Loose, v. t.
imperfect & past participle Loosened ; present participle & verbal noun Loosening
  1. To make loose; to free from tightness, tension, firmness, or fixedness; to make less dense or compact; as, to loosen a string, or a knot; to loosen a rock in the earth.
    After a year's rooting, then shaking doth the tree good by loosening of the earth. Bacon.
  2. To free from restraint; to set at liberty..
    It loosens his hands, and assists his understanding. Dryden.
  3. To remove costiveness from; to facilitate or increase the alvine discharges of. Bacon.
Loos"en intransitive verb
  1. To become loose; to become less tight, firm, or compact. S. Sharp.

Webster 1913