American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To untie or make looser.
- v. To free from restraint, pressure, or strictness.
- v. To free (the bowels) from constipation.
- v. To become loose or looser.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To make loose; free from tightness, tension, firmness, or fixedness: as, to loosen a knot; to loosen a joint; to loosen a rock in the earth.
- To render less dense or compact: as, to loosen the soil about the roots of a plant.
- To let loose; free from restraint or confinement.
- To become loose; become less tight, firm, or compact.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To make loose; to free from tightness, tension, firmness, or fixedness; to make less dense or compact
- v. To free from restraint; to set at liberty..
- v. To remove costiveness from; to facilitate or increase the alvine discharges of.
- v. To become loose; to become less tight, firm, or compact.
- v. make less severe or strict
- v. make loose or looser
- v. disentangle and raise the fibers of
- v. become less severe or strict
- v. cause to become loose
- v. become loose or looser or less tight
- v. make less dense
- loose + -en (Wiktionary)
- Middle English lousnen, losnen, from losen, from los, loose; see loose. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Cool in the pan for 15 minutes or so; be sure to cut around the sides to loosen from the pan before cutting and serving. comments”
“Cool in the pan for 15 minutes or so; be sure to cut around the sides to loosen from the pan before cutting and serving.”
“Also admittedly, loosen is more common by far than either of the un - forms, and Tiffany would have done better to use it.”
“As George Santayana wrote, the only bond that a modern liberal wants to loosen is the marriage bond.”
“Wood screws are preferred over nails for assembly, as potato bugs have been known to ram against the walls until the nails eventually loosen from the wood and work free, compromising the integrity of the structure, and allowing the creatures to infest your house and lay eggs in your ear canal or anus.”
“We winos are having to tighten, which is to say loosen, our belts.”
“Discussions are taking place in the Pentagon over how to "loosen" the restrictions imposed by the disastrous "don't ask, don't tell" policy, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.”
“And, you know -- so that can kind of loosen up the rock material.”
“I'm going to allow you to kind of loosen your shoulders up.”
“And -- and then I thought, you know, maybe talking to Tom in Tupelo might kind of loosen him up a little bit, might even make him a Democrat.”
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Verbs constructed with the -en suffix.
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